Windsor breakfast , soldiers happy homecoming

Windsor Travel Blog

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pre 1600 Last supper pic in the church , not the best pic i have taken but with a bellringer at work .

I'm staying in Slough with friends for a few days ,it's close to Eton and Windsor  and i cycled in for breakfast arriving at about 09:50

There is little good to  say about Slough itself , im afraid , it is a hotchpotch of ugly council properties and buildings which have been erected not neccesarily to compliment or even fit in with the existing architecture.It is very cosmopolitan , like what i imagine Capetown or Jo' burg to be like .

Walking down the high street with your eyes closed you would probably get the impression that you are in Poland , if not there maybe Pakisthan or India .

church stained glass window
  The famous poet Betjeman once acidly said of the poor town '...come friendly bombs and drop on slough , it isnt fit for people now , there isnt room to swing a cow '.Anyway i once lived nearby for 10 years and it is only 2 miles from Eton and 3 from Windsor .

having slaughtered Slough , lets get on ;-)

Passing thru Eton and over the picturesque Windsor + Eton bridge over the river thames i walked with my bike and saw crowds of people and a number of police and police community officers  all around the castle so i asked a policeman  what was going on .

He said the Coldstream Guards are  returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan  and are going to march by and take a salute .

Charity shop
About half the crowd were tourists (from everywhere , it's a popular tourists  place), and the rest were patriotic Brits , with lots of the soldiers family members i guess . The Windsor castle guard change is a big attraction anyway for tourists , but today the crowd was about 10 times normal . The guards  change daily anyway and they have thier set procedure which has become a tourist  event , they would change in the same way whether there were tourists around or not and have done so for hundreds of years .  

I went down Peascod  street  and got a breakfast for £4.90 in a place i know right down the bottom of the street , everyone was out today , there were a few buskers , one playing Andian flute music , there were people collecting for a disabled charity  and others handing out leaflets  for something or the other .

1st Battalion Coldstream Guards marchpast

Windsor has quite a few 'charity' shops , were people make dontations of books/clothes/videos  and the shop sells them and the proceeds  go to whichever charity it is ,British Heart organization , Oxfam , Save the children  and so on . 

They always have a good supply of nearly new books on such topics as the  royal family , travel  etc .I often think that these would make good souvenirs  for the tourist .

I headed back up  peascod street  and found that all the best vantage points were already taken and many of the crowd had 'union jack' flags and some cross of St George , which is  Englands' flag.I found a place up the steps of the Parish church  and even had a little look around since  it was going to be quite a wait .

Coldstream Guards 450 men

Inside the church they have a old painting of Christs' last  supper  which was painted pre 1600  and was donated to the church by King George  , it is huge and hangs over the entrance/balcony.I also  noticed that the church was running a  little  coffee shop (which it doesn't usually) ; and i have a weakness for  such things .I got a few pics of stained glass windows and went outside to get my place ,making a mental note to return as soon as the parade has passed.

The guards change at about 11:00  and they marched past  behind the band , the old guard came back in the opposite direction at about 11:15, in front of the same band and heading back to thier barracks .Still no sign of the Coldstream Guards , whilst in between the guards' changing the churchbells had rung out and one of thier tunes was 'Green Sleeves' , which i beleive was composed by Henry the eighth .

Crowds follow the troops

 

There were lots of kids waiting expectantly and some were getting impatient , the police must have opened up the road temporarily becuase a number of cars passed thru , the odd jogger , about a dozen cyclists in cycling shorts , the crowd cheered sarcastically , one of the joggers  was waving his arms as though he was winning a race  and he was cheered and jeered .Because it is a high profile place , you do get quite a few posers  trying to show off , like people with expensive cars with thier windows  down playing loud music ..ho hum .

Anyway , after standing waiting for about an hour  there was the sound of more band music and shouting , i knew what the shouting was , the Coldstream Guards have a tradition of shouting thier orders , they don't care what anyone else thinks of that .

St John the Baptist Church from outside , i stood under the holly tree on the left .
To be honest  i would not travel  far to watch any parade or military display , but since i was already there  i looking forward to it

Along they came , in step and marching like a well oiled unit, dressed in thier battle fatigues , i could feel the unity and high morale of this band of brothers , i think they have a very long tradition but don't know the details . At  thier front in pride of place was a soldier in a wheelchair with the lower part of one leg missing ,he would almost definitely have lost that to a roadside bomb .There was some applause  and a bit of cheering.They were passed in two minutes  as they headed towards the barracks , some of the crowd fell in behind  and followed them , two women  had made a little banner which read '1 btn Coldstream Guards , second to none , we  are proud of you ' .

Just after the rush for tea

I shot inside the church almost pushing  aside two old dears who wanted tea  and got a coffee and  chocolate biscuit for £1  and quickly moved out of the way so that a phalanx  of old ladies could get served (they are soooo slow but always polite , old english women just love tea..tea  and a natter is all they really want)  see pic  at foot of blog .

 

sarahelaine says:
coldstram is on our side of the border, but lowland rather than highland, so no kilts. I think we get to share! ;)

I'll stop being obnoxious, though. Good to have them back, nuff said.

http://www.coldstream-scotland.co.uk/guards.html
Posted on: Apr 28, 2008
redzzed says:
I shee no tartan , hope thats not whskey in that lollipop .
i dont know but here is a link
http://www.shinycapstar.com/reghistorypast.htm#The%20First%2050%20Years
Posted on: Apr 28, 2008
sarahelaine says:
Good to see them safe home. It's just a shame more of them are going to have to go back our - you'd have thought we'd have figured out a better way to solve our probelms by now. Ho-hum. I've got a lot more aware of these things living in Swindon, just North of the regiments in Tidsworth and Ludgershall and south of half the RAF. It's the only place where I've ever been late for meetings co teh tanks are crossing in front of me! Although, Coldstream is one of the few remaining Scottish Regiments, wherever it's based now - the St George Crosses are pretty funny!
Posted on: Apr 27, 2008
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pre 1600 Last supper pic in the ch…
pre 1600 Last supper pic in the c…
church stained glass window
church stained glass window
Charity shop
Charity shop
1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
m…
1st Battalion Coldstream Guards …
Coldstream Guards 450 men
Coldstream Guards 450 men
Crowds follow the troops
Crowds follow the troops
St John the Baptist Church from ou…
St John the Baptist Church from o…
Just after the rush for tea
Just after the rush for tea
Tulips drinking the sun ..outside …
Tulips drinking the sun ..outside…
banner
banner
Coldstream Guards 450 men
Coldstream Guards 450 men
Englands last hope , young boy wea…
Englands last hope , young boy we…
People waiting
People waiting
Changing the guard
Changing the guard
april 2009 feeding the swans by t…
Windsor
photo by: EmyG