|from the Welwyn Hatfield Times|
I've been to Hitchin to see the Queen!
Do you remember that old nursery rhyme? Well yesterday it came true for me! The Queen came to Hitchin! She was here as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebration and to give an award to our volunteers at the wonderful British Schools Museum which is the only surviving Lancasterian school in the world and to meet some local shopkeepers at places like Halsey's Deli which was opened in 1854.
The Good: All the schools were invited and because my school has special connections with the British Schools Museum we got a prime location. Plus 30 of our children were chosen to dress as Victorian school children and stand closer to the Queen when she came. The day arrived and amazingly the weather was good. Blue sky and not too cold or too hot.
|from The Comet|
The bad: The Queen was due to arrive in Hitchin train station at 10:30 and then come in her fancy motor car with giant crest on top like a Mohawk hair-do--just so you would know it was the Queen riding around--by 10:45. But streets were being filled up behind the barricades by 8:00am and schools had to be there by 9:15 to be in place. We registered the kids and then high tailed it out of there and walked 200 children in a big crocodile down to the town centre. It is a VERY long wait for little ones, outside with nothing to do and no snacks or water and having to stand in one place for 2 hours. Everyone had plastic Union Flags and all sorts of games were devised (and stopped immediately) such as "who could spit through the hollow straw-like handle" and "use your flag like a sword and poke your neighbour"--we did allow them to play their flags like a trumpet as the brass band played, we're not total meanies.
|from Heart radio|
The Ugly: We did everything right and our children were beautifully behaved. However I cannot say that of other schools. Several schools arrived over an hour after we did and then wanted us to move over so their children could get a better view. there was pushing and shoving with people crushing our children into the barricades and name calling when we didn't agree to "squat down and let them see"--and that was from the TEACHERS! We were told that we should move back and let their children in and we refused. If they wanted to get a better view they should have come early like we did. Besides we were put in this spot by the police and told to stay here and so we were not moving. Other schools--children and teachers--shoved and insulted us, but we stayed firm. Our school also seemed to be the only one telling children off for behaving badly as all around us children from other schools spoke rudely to adults and ran around unsupervised whilst their adults stood and did nothing--or worse encouraged them to do so. We behaved with dignity and they were all little shits. I was proud to be from Wilshere Dacre School.
The actual visit and viewing was very brief for us--we saw her get out of the car, saw her walk in front of us and then she disappeared down the line to speak to others and our view was blocked. The Queen was lovely, smaller than you imagine, and looked like your sweet old granny in her Easter best.
I was thrilled to be a part of it and proud to be a British citizen. God save the Queen.