Sandringham House and Gardens (1 May)
A pleasant coach journey in fine weather delivered us to Sandringham
and the private home of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness
the Duke of Edinburgh. As we entered the gardens a notice by the gate
informed us that this was a 'Protected Site under Section 128 of the
Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005'.
Such information was soon forgotten as I saw what I had really come
to see (I am a retired geologist) - the use of Carstone, a local
iron-rich brown sandstone, within the grounds and buildings. They were
using the classic massive form of this rock to renew steps by the pond
(top marks for this), whilst the thin-slabbed form was much in evidence
in many of the buildings including Queen Alexandra's Nest by the lake.
I was also much impressed by the lamp posts with the Royal Coat of
Arms, with one even having a crown on its top! One of the buildings
sported a sun dial and, for the mathematical members, an Equation
Table showing that this timepiece was slow by three minutes on the
day of our visit.
And then into the house, a part of which is open to the public
(the staff inside were most helpful- more top marks). A quick look
in the bookcases soon found the 1830s Bridgewater Treatise by the
Rev William Kirby of Barham near Ipswich - I wonder who last read
them? There was of course so much to see, but I was interested to
see that the State Rolls Royce Phantom V (used 1961-c.2002) had an
'AA' badge on it (were they ever called upon?) and that the Duke
of Edinburgh collected Royal-related cartoons - there was a fine
specimen of the Duke featuring in a Giles cartoon. Then off to the
Visitor Centre (getting an ice cream on the way) where people were
exchanging pictures of the Queen on coins and banknotes in return
for pictures of Her Majesty on other items!
Thank you June Peck for an excellent 'June day' in May