A royal surprise for pensioners

Three Rs club members (left to right) Joan Norman, Lynn Cockburn, Pauline Harris, Chrissie Coleman, Maureen Close and Charlotte Swift with their letter from The Queen and Royal Wedding items
Three Rs club members (left to right) Joan Norman, Lynn Cockburn, Pauline Harris, Chrissie Coleman, Maureen Close and Charlotte Swift with their letter from The Queen and Royal Wedding items

MEMBERS of a pensioners’ club were given a right Royal surprise when they received a letter on behalf of The Queen.

The Three Rs Club, based at the West View Community Centre, in Hartlepool, are busy planning their own celebrations for the Royal Wedding taking place next month.

The group have a host of Buckingham Palace and Royal Family memorabilia for a competition prize and now have a letter on behalf of The Queen – after writing to Her Majesty asking for a replacement carrier bag!

Christina Colman, one of the members of the group, explained: “We have lots of prizes which our members can win on the big day in a competition we are running.

“My son was in London and bought some Royal Family souvenirs, but when he got home the bag which they were all in was very creased.

“It’s a lovely bag, and we thought it would be nice to keep the bag for the competition.

“When we saw it was creased we thought we would send a letter to The Queen just as a joke asking for another one.”

After the letter had been sent off, the group didn’t think any more of it.

However, to their astonishment, the club received a reply last week from her lady in waiting on behalf of The Queen.

The letter said: “To the members of the club.

“I am writing to thank you for your letter in which you say you will be holding a special luncheon to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton.

“The Queen was pleased to hear of this event and greatly appreciated the messages of good wishes you have conveyed to the young couple.

“Although Her Majesty was interested to know that you will be holding a competition at your luncheon and that the prizes were purchased on a visit to Buckingham Palace, I am afraid it is not possible to help you in the way that you ask.

“The Queen hopes however that the competition will be a great success and that everyone will enjoy the Royal Wedding Ceremony.

“Her Majesty sends good wishes to you all.”

Christina, 79, who lives in the West View area of Hartlepool with her husband, John, 69, added: “I couldn’t believe it when we received the letter.”

The mum-of-two added: “We actually found it quite funny that they couldn’t send a carrier, but we were just so happy they had replied to the letter.

“We certainly didn’t expect it.”

The Three R’s Club meet every week, and also enjoy monthly day-trips.

The Rs represent the three complexes where the club was first launched, Rawlings, Routledge and Robson, in Hartlepool.

The club are celebrating the wedding on the day at The Schooner, in Seaton Carew.

Members of the club will enjoy a luncheon and the competition before watching the ceremony on a big screen.

Anyone interested in joining the club should contact the club secretary, Pauline Harris, on 07707 713927.

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