Windsor breakfast , soldiers happy homecoming
Windsor Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 ' .
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 .