It was such a huge privilege to be at Buckingham Palace in the company of so many inspirational people who were also receiving awards. I chatted to various folk who were being recognised for their contribution to charity, education, science and medicine. Strangely, my award was the only one for paddle steamers! Also present were several Olympic gold medallists from the Rio Olympics and one of my favourite actresses, Patricia Routledge (Hyacinth Bucket from "Keeping up Appearances") who was made a Dame Commander. We chatted and she spoke fondly of being on the Waverley several years ago on a cruise from Portsmouth round the Isle of Wight. At one stage as I was about to be called forward, I had a surreal moment asking myself, was this really happening to me or is it all a dream? (Royalty does occasionally feature in my dreams.......) But it was very real and a huge privilege. My wife Jean and two daughters Lynn and Jan accompanied me, making it a very special and memorable occasion. But this award is not just for me, it is for the small but dedicated team back in 1974 who made it happen; the award is also for Waverley; and finally the award is also formal recognition of our Society and all it's amazing achievements.
Not Yet a PSPS Member?
Join us today and help support us in the preservation and operation of Paddle Steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle. PSPS members receive our full coloured magazine, 'Paddle Wheels', four times a year in addition to gaining access to discount tickets for Waverley and Kingswear Castle. Membership starts from only £10 per year. For full details and to join on-line today go to www.paddlesteamers.org/join.