Following a press release in The Gazette, Historic Ryde Society is delighted to announce the volunteers have been given The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2015. The highest award available to volunteer groups across the UK, the award is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups. The citation reads: ‘Providing an award-winning heritage centre for those interested in the history and artefacts of Ryde and its people’.
A nomination was written last summer by Cllr Roger Whitby Smith, supported by letters from Richard Smout, IW Heritage Service, Lee Byrne, Principal Conservation Officer, IWCC, and Roy Cartwright, the owner of The Royal Victoria Arcade, the home of the Historic Ryde Society’s Ryde District Heritage Centre. There followed in December, a local panel inspection by Mrs Patricia Partridge, DL, Lt. Col. Sir Guy Acland, LVO DL, Mrs Fiona White and Mr Mike Bulpitt.
A long wait ensued, whilst the nomination was considered by The National Award Committee. The committee makes recommendations to the Cabinet Office, which sends a final list to the Queen for her approval. Winners are announced on June 2 every year, the anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation in 1953.
The Society will receive a certificate signed by the Queen, and an engraved domed crystal for display in the Heritage Centre.
As part of the successful nomination process, two volunteers were invited to attend one of the Afternoon Parties held at Buckingham Palace. Diana and Tony attended the Party on Thursday, May 28. The weather was breezy, but a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was had. Two military bands played in the garden, and The Royal Anthem announced the arrival of Her Majesty the Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. They were joined during the afternoon by Their Royal Highnesses The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
Diana and Tony entered through the Hyde Park entrance, walking through the gardens to the Palace. At the end of the afternoon, they walked through the Palace and across the courtyard, to leave through the main entrance. A fabulous experience! No photographs were allowed to be taken in the grounds of the Palace, but the photograph below was taken by a friendly London Bobby, as they waited in the queue.