Royal invite thrill for Sid Vale residents

PUBLISHED: 16:08 27 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:33 18 June 2010

AN invitation to Buckingham Palace may be like gold dust but five Sid Vale residents have had the prestigious honour. Rosemary and Dave Sowden, of Fore Street, Sidbury, have been invited by the Lord Chamberlain on behalf of the Queen to a garden party in

AN invitation to Buckingham Palace may be like gold dust but five Sid Vale residents have had the prestigious honour.

Rosemary and Dave Sowden, of Fore Street, Sidbury, have been invited by the Lord Chamberlain on behalf of the Queen to a garden party in July.

The pair, who celebrated their Golden Wedding this year and are active members of the Sidbury community, do not have a clue who nominated them to attend the prestigious event.

Rosemary, who turns 70 in November, said: "It came out of the blue. We got a letter at the time of our Golden Wedding and it arrived with all of our other cards! It was a wonderful present."

Dave, 72, said: "It is absolutely fantastic. It is a wonderful opportunity and we are very honoured and privileged."

Another garden party held at the Queen's official residence in July is in celebration of the 100th anniversary of naval aviation.

Elizabeth Colborne, of Furzehill, Sidbury, will be attending the event in honour of her late husband, Raymond, who was in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy.

Lt Cdr Raymond Colborne served as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands campaign and was cited for a Member of the British Empire award for services rendered during his naval career.

Elizabeth said: "I feel mixed emotions but it is very nice to be invited."

This year Elizabeth also attended a Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Centenery of naval aviation in St Paul's Cathedral.

She added: "Somebody came up to me in the cathedral and spoke about my husband. It was lovely they felt it necessary to do that."

Also attending the centenary celebration at Buckingham Palace are Reverend Peter Leverton and his wife, Margaret, of Drakes Avenue, Sidford.

Reverend Leverton, who trained on a Fairey Swordfish, served as a Sub-Lieutenant officer in the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War.

He said: "I think the celebration is very important to the Fleet Air Arm. It was a very active part in the war when you consider it was the Fleet Air Arm that just about destroyed the Italian fleet.

"I was very pleased to be invited. Not everybody gets an invitation to Buckingham palace!


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