- 18th September - 8:00pm : ‘The Abel Label’ - By Katie Ellis.
- 16th October - 8:00pm : ‘Fire Safety in Your Home’ - By Melanie Quinn.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Palace of Westminster

It's the First Tuesday of the Month again, and we were off on our travels with our WI Badges to the fore. From Hollingbourne Railway station up to London. ( A money saving tip - go in a group of at least 4 and your ticket will only cost £9.50 return)

Once again, please note that partners and friends are welcome on many of our visits and do not have to wear a badge or profess allegiance to the WI

Our purpose - to visit the Palace of Westminster at the invitation of our MP Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport. We had all the paperwork, and arrived at the appointed time. Our Photos were taken - we were issued with passes - we went through the security checks and were into Westminster Hall. The oldest part of the buildings and completed in 1099 in the reign of William the Conqueror's son, William Rufus. It was built to impress. and is still one of the largest undivided mediaevel spaces in existence.
We took in everything our assigned guide told us. Including that we must not take photographs in House of Parliament - sorry. His Boss was Black Rod. He was full of information and answered all our questions.
You may have seen Westminster Hall on TV as it is used for the' Lying in state' after the deaths of monarch and some prime ministers such as Winston Churchill
With our guide we visited with the House Of Commons, saw the benches of the various parties, and the Speaker's chair. The House of Lords with its Woolsack, the Central Lobby and post office, the robing rooms and finally he took a picture of us. (all sporting our photographic passes)
It was a very interesting visit, and the architecture and woodwork and enormous oil paintings were stunning. We had a quick snack and then had a choice -

There were those who felt fit and decided to that BIG BEN had to be tackled - 334 steps up, and 334 down. - though extra security and personal identification was required. They were issued with ear plugs to guard against the noise of the bells - just as well as there were two chimes during the assent and descent. The view was amazing and worth all the huffing and puffing.
There were those who decided to join the long queues to enter Westminster Abbey for a view of the Royal Wedding flowers (only 5 days after the ceremony.) It was worth the wait, and a unique experience.
Others decided that nothing was better than a stroll along the Thames on a beautiful sunny day.

We all made it back to the train after a fantastic day out, and must thank Mary Henderson who made all the arrangements but was unfortunately unable to join us due to family illness