Retford Times Newspaper – published 12/05/2011

Grand day out for Royal Wedding winners Royal wedding winners Sandra and Paul Harpem with MP John Mann in his office.

LUCKY Retford Times prize winners were thrilled by their close-up view of the royal wedding celebrations in London. Clarborough’s Sandra Harpem and Muriel Teasdale were winners of two special prize packages to sample the excitement of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day.

Sandra had described why she would love the chance to visit London for the royal celebration and her prize saw her head down to London with husband Paul early on the wedding day.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann had offered the Retford Times’ winner the chance to share the grandstand view of events enjoyed from his London office, alongside other invited guests.

An excited Sandra said: “It was absolutely fantastic. We could see Whitehall House and had a brilliant view of the abbey.”

Mr Mann was also there to celebrate. He said: “It was the most splendid occasion, Great Britain at its very best. We do things like this better than anyone else in the world. It was a wonderful atmosphere.”

Mr Harpem was very impressed with the view from the room. “We got to see the cars going to the abbey and the coaches and horses on the way back. Mr Mann was an excellent host,” he added.

Mrs Teasdale won a two-day trip to London courtesy of Retford’s Vale Travel.

She and her friend June Horsewood stayed in West London’s Covent Garden, with rail tickets included in the prize.

She has never missed a royal wedding, saying that she is a true royalist. “It was fantastic. We stood in The Mall when everyone passed and waved to them,” she said.

The friends bagged a prized place on the St James’s Park side of The Mall, managing to get a spot in the second row of the crowds where she was seen on the television by her husband.

They were thrilled to share the experience with visitors from around the world and well as patriotic British supporters decked out in Union Flags. They watched the royal entourage pass close by culminating in the happy couple themselves, and joined in the crowd singing Jerusalem and the national anthem.

After the ceremony, making her way towards Buckingham Palace, Mrs Teasdale borrowed a periscope to witness the famous balcony kiss. The next day they visited Westminster Abbey to see the wedding trees and flowers.

Muriel and June thanked Vale Travel and the Retford Times for a weekend to remember.

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