Tuesday, 20 June 2017
It has been my birthday recently and I arranged to meet my daughter for the day in York - chance for some light retail therapy and a good conversation over lunch, uninterrupted by the usual chatter of her little girls. It turned out to be a hot, sunny day, so we decided to sit for a while in one of the parks in the shade of the trees.
All of a sudden, our reverie was interrupted by marching music from a military band. My daughter said she'd ordered it specially for me! It was 'birthday honours' but for Queen Elizabeth's 'official birthday' rather than mine. There was some more music, a few short speeches in front of the gathered VIPs and then a 21 gun salute, fired at precise 10 second intervals from three guns. It was impressively done, with each soldier and team knowing exactly what to do and when to do it, amidst a good deal of marching about and standing to attention.
A soldier gave me a leaflet explaining that, in 1971, to commemorate the city's 1900th anniversary, the city of York was given the honour of being one of 12 'saluting stations' across the UK. Gun salutes are fired to celebrate various Royal occasions. The salute was fired on this occasion by the 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery, accompanied by the band of the Yorkshire Regiment.
I gracefully accepted all the fuss in celebration of my birthday!
(Photos from my phone. I didn't take my camera so I couldn't zoom in very close to the action.)