The Lord Mayor’s Platinum Jubilee Big Curry was held at the Guildhall on Thursday 7th April 2022. This annual (bar Covid) event raises funds to meet the current urgent need to support veterans of HM Armed Forces into employment.
My Consort and I arrived and were greeted by various members of the Armed forces to welcome and usher us through. We soon found ourselves, programme in hand, browsing through the various lots for the silent auction. From works of art to holiday breaks to a ships tour and lunch for eight in HMS Queen Elizabeth, though sadly this was far out of our budget even before we arrived. An amazing experience for somebody to have. Instead, I may have unnerved my dear husband slightly as I put a bid on a rifle shooting training experience. I discovered on our last holiday to Canada that I could be quite a good sniper with a bit of fine tuning!!
To take his mind off it, we wandered into the prize draw area, picking our way past the sea of suits supping champagne at the bar. A chance to win a meal at Paternoster chop house, crate of Cobra beer and a backstairs tour of Bonhams just the ticket. We filled out our cards and put them in the various bowls and left it to lady luck, who appeared to have taken a wrong turn that day and got lost!
On further for a mooch around and while standing watching the silent auction screens found ourselves chatting to a delightful chap who was interested in a win we had a previous year when we bid on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of Downton Abbey. It was quite funny at the time as, having won, the organisers contacted us to say but they realised we lived just around the corner from Highclere Castle and may prefer to take the behind the scenes tour there. Now without wishing to sound like a film snob, I have been around Highclere Castle many times in my life and stood in the corridor waiting for Jeeves and Worcester to stop filming behind the door while watching them through the hinges, and even been told off for delivering urgent heating oil from my tanker making too much noise on the estate during a Tom Cruise film being shot there on a winters evening many years ago. So I cheekily asked if we could go to the film studios in London instead which is what we did and we had the most fabulous and informative day meeting cast, standing in while scenes were set up and even seeing other sets and behind the scenes technical skills from wigs to props, costume to camera angles and historical and social correctness.
Before long it was our turn to enter the hall and cue for our lunch. It didn’t take too long this year especially once we realised there was four angles to queue from and most people assumed only two. Many medals adorned those serving up our lunch and we were most mindful chatting as we went. We found our place at the tables and checked the bidding, still winning on the shooting front.
It was nearing time to leave but we still had a moment to look at the market stalls after the dining in the main hall. The framework knitters had obviously been very busy with lots of colourful creations particularly the multicoloured bright and cheerful socks that many a chap were drawn by. Who knows what goes on under those Highly polished shoes. On past the fruit baskets but stopped at the bakers stand where Dave could not resist the lure over at least two types of hot cross buns, fresh loaves and other goodies in their hampers at least two types of hot cross buns, fresh loaves and other goodies in a bag style hamper.
It was then time to depart and having made our way out to the courtyard we were just in time to see the lady mayoress departing having received a bouquet of flowers from two very smart young girls dressed in their very smart green aprons.
Not a bad spot for lunch and although I did not win the bidding on the shooting day, I am keeping Dave on his toes!
By Master Fueller, Carrie Marsh