We had a truly memorable evening in Rochester Cathedral last night. In a special ceremony following choral evensong, the Class of 2011 South East Blue Badge Guides were presented with our hard-earned blue badges by Her Grace The Duchess of Norfolk in the presence of the Dean of the Cathedral, Isabel Moore President of The Institute of Tourist Guides and Amanda Cottrell OBE, Chairman of Visit Kent.
I am proud to announce that in addition to receiving her badge my South East Tour Guides colleague Dawn Blee was declared Guide of the Year .
From my point of view a slight technical hitch in the proceedings occurred when my guest called me shortly before we were due to depart for the ceremony to tell me that he had been detained on a First Great Western train and was now en route to Rochester from Chiddingstone Causeway via Reading and Taunton – in that order…
To cut a long story short – he was helping our university-bound daughter load her not inconsiderable amounts of luggage onto an Exeter bound train at Reading Station when, apparently in an effort to make up a 3 minute delay out of London, an over zealous guard pressed the shut and lock doors button slightly early – an action that it would seem cannot be reversed ‘under any circumstances’. Next stop Taunton - 2 hours away.
In the couple of minutes he had to wait for the return trip to Reading my husband says Taunton Station seemed to be a perfectly pleasant place, just not where he wanted to be. Fortunately no one on either train risked trying to extract a fare from him and he did not get a parking ticket at Reading despite the 4 hour delay.
Meanwhile back at Rochester I was able to enjoy the reception laid on in the Cathedral basking in the reflected glory of Dawn’s prize and am proud to wake up today as a fully badged member of the Blue Badge Tourist Guide community.
PS – Forgot to mention – yesterday was also my wedding anniversary…