A packed village hall and a welcome glass of wine. It was the W.I. Cheese and wine event raising funds for the new tables which were beautifully decorated for the occasion in red, white and blue colours.
A colourful scene fitting the theme of “ Life aboard the Royal Yacht Britannica” where our speaker, Mike Crankshaw served over 10 years as a chef. Mike told us there had been a royal Yacht since the 1500’s, the last one being launched with Empire wine rather than champagne in 1953. It was designed to show off everything that was great about Britain. The sailors uniforms were based on the time of Prince Albert and if the crew went ashore in uniform they would be ribbed by other seaman, so I guess they usually wore civvies, the teak deck was protected by wearing plimsoles. The Royal Yacht was the biggest selling department for British industry abroad and more than earnt it’s expensive upkeep as well as having a duel role as a hospital ship when needed. It was a yacht without sails. Mike told us how the crew lived in very cramped conditions as two thirds of the accommodation was reserved for the household of Royals. He said the Queen always held respect for the military and their families. Tragically the Royal Yacht was suddenly taken out of service whilst still in good condition after 44 years, 1 million and 87 miles. What an incredible journey.
The cheese and wine which followed the talk was superb and altogether made a fantastic evening.