Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The sea cadets and the Master visit Downing Street - 2

George's meeting room in No. 11

In this post we show Stehen Wagstaffe's photographs of our visit to No. 10 Downing Street and the private conference room used by George Osborne in no.11 - and the present Downing Street cat, Larry

This visit was made by our new 'regiment', the Orpington Sea Cadets unit, with whom my predecessor, Master Michael Wilkey has signed up a connection.

The visit, on the afternoon of Monday 8 October 2012, was informal, informative and fun, and we were langourously welcomed by Larry, the Downing Street chief mouser. The cadet unit was very smartly turned out with the the cadets in immaculate naval ratings' dress and their 'top brass' in formal frock coats with brass buttons, gold braid around the cuffs and peaked caps.

Our phones were left in the hall, before the tour commenced. The guides couldn't have been more friendly. As we sat round the Cabinet table, one of the youngest cadets was in David Cameron's seat: I was opposite in Nick Clegg's place.

We proceeded up the cantlevered stair - its well lined with portraits of every Prime Minister from Walpole - and into the State suite used for receptions. We were invited to sit in all the furniture: a girl cadet stood up pretty sharply on being asked 'Are you comfortable?' - 'Yes' - 'You might be interested to hear that that chair (gold French ormolu) is insured for £1 million'!

It was a great occasion, and Stephen and I felt privileged to be hangers-on to the cadets. 

On 30th October 2012 Michael Wilkey and I will travel to Tilbury to see the unit training onboard ship.

The Soane meeting room

a 'secret' roof light

The Master at the helm of State

Larry the cat
written by Master Mervyn Miller

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