January 29, 2023

Friends of the TRNC Emergency Services

Afternoon Tea Talk

Wednesday 14th November was the monthly Afternoon Tea Talk at The Mountain View Hotel and the speaker on this occasion was Major Brian Thomas BEM who gave a talk with the title “Captain of the Guard at Windsor Castle”

There were many of the usual familiar faces at the Tea Talk and we sat down to our afternoon tea of sandwiches and some lovely cake, tea or coffee and a chat.   After a while Mike Plant brought everyone up to date with what the Friends of the TRNC Emergency Services had in store for us.   Mike asked for plastic bottle tops to be saved and these will go to a company for re-cycling, the proceeds from which will go towards wheelchairs for Girne State Hospital.   The monthly Quiz will be held at The Ravine on Monday 26th November and all are welcome.   There are already 65 people booked over the 2 evenings for the Sing-along at Mountain View on the 5th and 6th December and Father Christmas will make an appearance.   

Brian Thomas was then introduced and he proceeded to tell the story of when he was the “Captain of the Guard at Windsor Castle”.   The first picture on the slideshow was of the Duke of Wellington who Brian told us is 98 years old and is the Honorary Life President of the Kyrenia Branch of the Royal British Legion    In 1973 just 2 days after his 16th birthday, Brian joined the Duke of Wellington Regiment and not long after he was posted to Cyprus, having never flown before and indeed never been out of England, this was quite an adventure.   Brian told us that after 20 years he achieved the rank of RSM and 2 years later commissioned to what was called a Late Entry Officer which included a 2-year public duty battalion.   In 1998 Brian was transferred to Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow.  This duty involved Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s office, Windsor Castle, St James’s Palace – Prince Charles’ office and the Tower of London which includes the ceremony of the keys each evening at 10pm, this tradition has taken place without fail every evening for the last 700 years.

Most people will remember the disastrous fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, but it was eventually restored to its former glory and the normal traditions continue.  Windsor Castle  was built 900 years ago by William the Conqueror to defend the Thames.  The castle is the weekend home of the Queen and 500 people live and work there, it is the largest inhabited castle in the world.  

Brian’s talk was extremely interesting and very amusing. and I am sure everyone enjoyed it.

The raffle followed the talk and then Mike proceeded to give presents to members of the audience from his goody bag, which resulted in a lot of laughter.   The proceeds from the afternoon were 350TL for the funds of Friends of the TRNC Emergency Services.

There is no Tea Talk for the month of December and we will be advised of the date of the next one in 2013 in due course, together with the speaker for that event.

Thanks to everyone who organised the Tea Talk and the Mountain View Hotel for what was again a very pleasant and entertaining afternoon.

For those that have not been to a Tea Talk the slide show shows you what you may enjoy.

By Margaret Sheard

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