We had become used to unusual special events organised by our Master, Eda Rose-Lawson, for example choosing that splendid quintessentially London church of St.Mary- le- Bow for our Carol Service; her idea of having all twelve bells rung before the service was brilliant. We will always remember the way passing commuters stopped in their tracks, looked heavenwards and enjoyed the embracing sound of those joyful Bow bells.
Her charity race day at Ascot was a triumph and an exemplary fund-raiser. I cannot remember enjoying a Livery event so much, thanks to the Master, as well as picking a few winners, delighting in watching the models wearing Eda Rose hats, and having a beautiful new lady friend on my arm!
This final occasion to be arranged by the Master, was on an elegant river launch, laden with a delicious Summer Lunch. We started with a lovely drinks party, which flowed from bow to stern, and the Gods, especially Isis, were smiling on us as the weather was perfect!
We cruised for four hours, during which time the Master gave a witty commentary entertaining us with her knowledge of the area and with the result of her copious research on many of the historical aspects of the stretch of the Thames from Hambledon to Sonning.
Many celebratory names were mentioned; the Likely Lad, Rodney Bewes; the Beatle, George Harrison; BBC commentator, Raymond Baxter; actors, Gladys Cooper, Beatrice Lily, Robert Hardy. The list is endless of all those lucky enough to have homes on the Thames or in the lovely town of Henley. Not forgetting Paul Daniels, WH Smith, George Orwell, Liam Gallagher, Uri Geller, his palatial residence must have cost a lot of spoon-bending!
At the Start of the Henley Royal Regatta course is the beautiful Temple Island, famed for being the subject of the Dickens story, the Phantom of Regatta Island . The Master wanted to show us the frescoes on the walls of the Temple, but we were not allowed access on this occasion, although it has been promised for the future, so I do hope that we might persuade our Master to do it again sometime.
To round off a happy day we had the invitation to visit the world famous Leander Club for further refreshment which gave us the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the Olympic Rowing World and admire the priceless trophies on display. Did you know that ladies were not admitted as members until 1998, the first one being HRH The Princess Royal!
Past Master, Peter Cobb brought a great day to a very fitting close with a greatly appreciative word of thanks for a memorable occasion, which perfectly combined the annual Livery Lunch with the request for the first regional lunch.
A wonderful day!