A special visit and a special rocking horse

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Now and again some special visit is organised for those who attend or are associated with LALG’s Opera and Ballet Group. Such visits usually have a connection with opera and/or ballet; for example, watching English National Ballet’s dancers in their daily morning class, or a backstage tour of the Royal Opera House. But two visits last August were different.

Many of us were aware of the late Queen Mother’s association with Hitchin and particularly St Paul’s Walden. It was there that she, as Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, spent much of her childhood at the Bury, the home of the Hertfordshire Bowes Lyon family.
We found that we could book group tours of part of the house, with an introductory talk about the gardens, followed by time to explore as much of the parkland and woodland gardens as we wished.

So 21 of us visited on what was a most perfect August afternoon weather-wise and another 18 of us a few days later.
All agreed that the visits were very interesting and worthwhile, some aspects being unique. For example, when brought to our attention, I vaguely recalled having seen in a book or magazine, or on television, a photo of the quite young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret sitting on a rocking horse. ‘There’, said our guide ‘is the rocking horse’. Yes, there in front of us the rocking horse upon which the young Princesses had sat.

John Cox Opera and Ballet Group

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