Letter - Jubilee memories

THE Express has covered the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen in a marvellous fashion and I am sure everyone in the city has thrown themselves into a wide variety of celebration.

Television has been a splendid way of keeping us all in touch with events in London. I found the Diamond Jubilee service from St Paul’s Cathedral moving, as my mind went back to the Millennium service in that wonderful church.

Late in November 1999, I had received an envelope addressed to Norman H’ Mayor of Wakefield inviting me to attend the service. Of course I was only deputy, so took the card to Coun Bullock, who was mayor, to be told in his blunt fashion: “I’m not going – and neither are you!”.

I replied that if he refused to go, then I would and there was nothing he could do to prevent this.

“I can stop you wearing your chain, or going in a civic car”.

Shrugging my shoulders, but hiding my delight, I duly travelled by train and underground and found my reserved seat under the dome, just three rows behind prime minister Tony Blair.

Before Her Majesty and Prince Phillip arrived, after seeing the archbishop speak to the three Wakefield children, Susan Tooby, Gareth Parkinson and Sarah Greenhough who were sitting on the altar waiting to read prayers.

I made my way forward to convey the good wishes of all Wakefield to these lovely children.

They told me Archbishop Carey had asked if they were nervous, before telling them: “Don’t worry, I always feel nervous, you will be fine.” and of course they were. A real credit to Wakefield and their presence probably the reason the Mayor of Wakefield (the only Yorkshire mayor) had been invited.

Those three pupils from our Cathedral School will never forget that great honour, when they had sat with our Queen.

Norman J Hazell MBE

Woolgreaves Drive