On Thursday 15th June, myself and my wife Lynda attended the The Lord Lieutenant’s Garden Party at Alnwick Gardens on behalf of Ashington Camera Club.
The event was laid on by The Duchess of Northumberland in her role as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland to recognise the valuable contribution that volunteers and carers make to the local community and some 300 volunteers and carers from across the county were invited to attend with their partners or a guest.
After a little research for the occasion we decided to wear our best bib and tucker, for me this was a smart suit and for Lynda this was a dress and jacket along with a hat, yes Lynda was more than happy to wear a hat for this special occasion as it’s not too often she gets to wear one.
Upon arrival and showing our invite we were allowed into the garden and given badges with our names on and who we were representing and told to find a seat anywhere we liked and to enjoy the occasion. As the weather was nice and sunny we chose to sit at a table outside on the lawn although I must admit the wind was gusting fairly strongly at times.
The party was officially opened at 4 o clock with a welcoming speech by BBC Look North presenter Carol Malia, who is a Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberland.
After the welcoming speech, it was time to tuck into the food, and I must say there was a huge volume of this, a good selection of sandwiches to start followed by scones with jam and cream followed by cakes of different types and sizes. I personnel enjoyed the scone with jam and cream and Lynda particle enjoy the strawberry tart, all followed by cups of tea of course.
Upon arrival at the party and after the welcome speech we were treated to musical entertainment all through the afternoon provided by the Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band, a Male Voice Choir and the Duchess's Community High School band who all took turns to perform.
During this time, The Duchess also visited guests at the tables and we managed to speak to her, she asked who we were representing and we were proud to say Ashington Camera Club.
After we had finished tea the Duchess presented, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) to three groups, Glendale Agricultural Society, Northumbria Blood Bikes and The Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop.
After the final speech and presentation, myself and Lynda had a look around the gardens before heading home. Before leaving I was given a goody bag with magazines, small Pimm’s and lemonade, cookies and chocolate among other things,
Shortly after leaving the heavens opened and the rain appeared, as we were on the way home this was not a problem and all in all we had a great time and were pleased to be representing the club at such a prestige event.