Royal appointment for some of the 3,500 people invited to celebration

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Among those who met the Queen yesterday were a caretaker, eel-catcher and the chief executive of a Norfolk hospital.

Some of the 3,500 guests were introduced to their host as she made her way round the gardens of her Norfolk home.

David Lawrence, the principal of Easton College and president of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association this year, said he had asked the Queen for some advice in his role.

“She has been president of the association before and said the problem was that there are so many people interested in it all,” he said.

He attended the event with his wife, Sarah.

The Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick, and his wife Rebecca, were also presented to the Queen.

“It has been a delightful event in a beautiful garden. It seems to be a more relaxed part of the jubilee celebrations,” he said.

Patricia Wright, chief executive of King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said she felt “privileged” to have been invited.

“The Queen is patron of a charity that I am involved with, Friends of the Elderly,” she said.

David Freeman, of Gorleston, is the caretaker at East Norfolk Sixth Form College and was attending the event with his wife, Lorraine.

“She said that she thought I would be busy, and asked if we lived on site,” he said.

Mr Freeman was once part of an official guard of honour for the Queen during a trip to America in the 1970s when he served in the Royal Navy.

Former West Norfolk mayor Colin Sampson and his wife, Susan, were also presented to the Queen and said they were “delighted” to be invited to the event.

“We met the Queen on the anniversary of her accession when she came to King’s Lynn and it has been a very special year,” said Mr Sampson.

Eel catcher John Spalton, 56, and his wife, Diana, 54, of Parson Drove, near Wisbech, also met the Queen.

Mr Spalton, who had taken some eels from waterways on Sandringham, said Prince Philip had been out with him on a previous occasion.

“It is a really nice afternoon, and the sun shone. I think I will always remember this,” he said.

Headteacher Sheri Wilks, of Ipswich, said she thought the event had been “wonderful” and thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.

The head of Castle Hill Infants and Highfield Nursery School and Children’s Centre was accompanied by her husband, Brian, and was one of 10 headteachers from the county invited to attend.

Joy Bradshaw, 80, was originally from Dublin but has lived in West Earlham, Norwich, since childhood. She was invited in recognition of her 23 years volunteering for Meals on Wheels. Miss Bradshaw said: “I cared for my parents for 20 years and decided to volunteer after that. It was enormously rewarding... I was so surprised to be invited here today and it is a wonderful honour.”

Dr Sushi Soni, of Ipswich, attended with his wife, Hamlesh. He is president of the Ipswich Hindu community, helped establish the town’s Racial Equality Council and recently saw East Anglia’s first Hindu temple built in Ipswich.

“We have been fortunate that the sun has shone on us. It is fabulous to be here,” he said

A group of students from Norfolk had the unique opportunity to cater for a Royal garden party.

The College of West Anglia, King’s Lynn, City College, Norwich, and Great Yarmouth College were all involved. Lester Tubby, chef lecturer at Yarmouth, said everything had gone well and according to plan.

“It was a wonderful experience,” added Yarmouth student Shelly Wright, 17.

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