A Royal date to remember

IT was a royal date Queenie Lahey will never forget - when she came face to face with Princess Anne.As the oldest resident of Jack Jarvis Close, the retired housing scheme for horseracing workers in Newmarket, Queenie was the perfect person to greet the guest of honour at the scheme's silver jubilee celebrations.

IT was a royal date Queenie Lahey will never forget - when she came face to face with Princess Anne.

As the oldest resident of Jack Jarvis Close, the retired housing scheme for horseracing workers in Newmarket, Queenie was the perfect person to greet the guest of honour at the scheme's silver jubilee celebrations.

Due to turn 96 on Monday, her meeting with the Royal visitor came as an early birthday present, and something she said she will never forget.

“I was really nervous about meeting her,” Queenie told the EADT, “But she was so lovely, I felt comfortable straight away and we had a good chat about lots of things, I'll always remember this day.”


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The Princess Royal met several residents of the Racing Welfare housing scheme yesterday before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the first 25 years of Jack Jarvis Close's history, where Queenie has lived since it opened.

The Princess told the crowd of onlookers: “This place has worn very well, I was first here 25 years ago, it looks and still is exactly what people want.”

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Racing Welfare chairman Nigel Elwes said: “It's a huge privilege for us to have the Princess here today to mark this memorable occasion, the silver jubilee of Jack Jarvis Close, a development which is part of racing's efforts to look after its own people.”

The housing scheme was named in honour of the late Sir Jack Jarvis, one the greatest trainers in Newmarket's illustrious history.

The land was donated by the Jarvis family and used to form part of Park Lodge stables.

Members of the Jarvis family, including trainer William Jarvis, Sir Jack's nephew, along with current Park Lodge resident trainer James Eustace and Racing Welfare director and trainer John Dunlop, were also on hand to greet the Princess.

The visit also included a tour of the house of John and Evelyn Jeffrey, who have lived in the close for the last three years.

“It has been a great day for us,” said Mr Jeffrey, “It's really special here, it has been great for us, and we are all racing people here, and we all get on well and when the weather's nice we all sit out together and chat, it's a great place.”

The silver jubilee also saw the official installation of a new racing-themed weather vane, and the Princess called in at Racing Welfare's offices, next to the close, where she met staff and other residents, and cut a special jubilee cake.

n The Princess Royal also saw the new hi-tech ambulance control centre covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire at first hand yesterday.

She was presented with a bouquet by five-year-old Yasmin Wood, from Norwich, who suffers from severe epilepsy and has required paramedic treatment on several occasions.

The princess then toured the £2.1m East Anglian Ambulance Trust's Emergency Medical Communications Centre in Hellesdon - which has been in operation since July - equipped with the latest computer and telephone technology to help improve response times.

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