Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A pleasurable day marred by tragedy

Theale Parish Council submitted my name for a ballot for parish councillors to attend a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace. I "won" and the party was yesterday.

We decided to go by train. When checking the National Rail "departure board" for Theale, I found that the train we planned to travel on had been cancelled. The previous train was displayed as 5 minutes late, so I thought we might just be able to catch that. When we got to Theale station we discovered that all services were suspended because a person had been hit by a train. This turned out to be the fatality at Ufton Nervet level crossing. We therefore decided to drive to Reading station.

When we got to Reading station we discovered that services were seriously disrupted by another incident where someone had been hit by a train. The next "main" train was therefore 55 minutes late. Fortunately another 3-car train was about to depart. We got on that and even found seats. The train left and proceeded at a snails pace as far as Maidenhead because a track defect had closed the main "fast" line.

We got to Paddington just after 3 pm, which still gave us enough time. We shared a taxi, which took 40 minutes to get to the palace because of very heavy traffic.

We enjoyed a warm, sunny, afternoon in the beautiful palace gardens. We got close to a few royal family members.

Our return journey was also eventful. It took ages to catch a taxi. Then the return train was delayed by a signal problem that closed the "slow" relief lines.

However, it was still a pleasurably memorable day with a few good photographs (cameras are not allowed in the palace grounds).

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
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