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Visit to the Palace of Westminster
2nd February 2010

What a joy it was to find that a visit planned for early February was actually taking place, unaffected by snow and ice! Nearly 60 CDFAS members set off from Stocklund Square at 8.45am, arriving at Westminster in good time. There were three separate groups to tour the Palace of Westminster - yes, it really is a palace as there are still royal apartments there. The guides were superb: there was so much to see and hear - a romp through British history from Norman times, fine architecture, art treasures and a fascinating insight into Parliamentary procedure. It was interesting to hear the origin of such expressions as "it's in the bag".

After the tours came another high point of the day: the session with Anne Milton who spoke about the working week of a Westminster M.P. and answered a variety of questions.

In the afternoon eight people had the opportunity to go up Big Ben and this expedition was thoroughly enjoyed by them all. Others visited the galleries of the House of Commons or the House of Lords to see Parliament in action, many watching the Speaker's Procession at 2.30pm first. A few used the time to see other attractions in the Westminster area.

A prompt departure at 3.45pm ensured that we made the return journey ahead of the evening traffic.

A list of the day's highlights would be long and varied. Suffice it to say that a number of people expressed a wish to repeat the trip. There was so much to absorb in one visit and some, who were disappointed this time, would like to go up Big Ben.

So Gwen, our thanks to you for organising such a superb day: in spite of the administrative difficulties, you must have felt it well worthwhile.

Jane Cross

On the steps where Charles I and William Wallace (Braveheart) were tried in Westminster Hall.