June 2024 From the author’s desk…

4 June, 2024 in From the author's desk

From the author’s desk…

The late, great queen mother…

‘It now gives me great pleasure to declare this magnificent new classroom annexe, built for the Hope Venture by the boys of Pitt College, officially open.’

Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, picked up the pair of gold-plated scissors from the crimson cushion and cut the coloured ribbon, which Ian had fixed across the front entrance two hours earlier. She walked along the red carpet and into the building: at one end the college quartet was singing sea shanties.

Standing in a line along the side of the carpet were Mr and Mrs Edgington, Bradshaw, now head prefect, and Ian Morris. Next to Ian was a very attractive sixteen-year-old Polish refugee, who was introduced to him as Katrina. She was the resident representing the Hope Venture. Ian was aware of her watching him as they waited their turn. He had never seen her before so she must have only recently moved in, because all of the girls, even the unattractive ones, were the subject of endless dormitory fantasies by the boys of Pitt College.

The Queen Mother’s aide, the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Malcolm Austwick, first presented the Edgingtons to Her Majesty and then the two schoolboys, explaining Ian’s role as Labour Organiser. The Queen Mother paused in front of him and, as he raised his head from the bow, he noticed that the Lord Lieutenant was speaking quietly into her ear.

‘Ah yes, I remember,’ she said, nodded and turned to him.

‘My aide has reminded me that you come from this City of Bath and the quite extraordinary circumstances surrounding your birth during the bombing in 1942.’

‘Ma’am?’ Ian replied hesitantly, puzzled by the reference to his birth.

‘How is your mother, she was so very brave?’

‘Not very well ma’am, she is in hospital.’

‘I am sorry to hear that, I do hope she gets well soon.’

‘Thank you, ma’am.’ And then she was gone, addressing the Polish girl next to him.


An extract from chapter thirty nine of – ‘ Go Swift and Far – a Tale of Bath’ The first book of The Westcott Chronicles

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‘An interesting and believable cast of characters move through the conflict of development versus conservation, still relevant in Bath today as the city continues to deal with how society and social mores have changed over the years.’

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