This was the occasion when on completion of the works tour, George V drove the locomotive “Windsor Castle” from the works to the station.
Detailed timetable (to nearest 5 minutes), for visit to town 2-10 pm to 3-10pm, and the works, 3-15pm to 4-25pm. As this last took in no less than 14 different shops or locations, the tour must have been conducted at a brisk pace! In actual fact, it will all have been carefully rehearsed and timed beforehand, to the nearest minute, under the guidance of representatives of Buckingham Palace and/or the Lord Lieutenant using “stand-ins”. (This is still the practice today for anything other than a simple arrival of the Royal Train, and departure from a station by car. Due to a shortage of personal of the correct gender, I once had to “stand-in” for a female VIP, who had better be nameless. The man from the Palace was not pleased by my performance. “No, no, no! You are marching! HRH has legs like Minnie Mouse and big clumpy shoes. Short steps and mince! Mince!” ). In the previous reign (Edward VII) things were rather more casual, and no one would have dared hurry Victoria… However George V was a stickler for punctuality, and could become incandescent with rage at a delay. It is a sad irony, that after his death, the LNER brought his coffin from Sandringham to London on time, but the procession was so badly delayed leaving Liverpool Street station by heavy crowds, that His Majesty was therefore late for his own funeral…
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