As we approach Coronation Weekend, and look forward to welcoming Sons of Bacchus on Sunday 7th, a reminder that His Majesty has also visited our historic cricket ground.
It was December 2006 when out of the blue a phone call from Special Branch sent shivers down the spine of our then, Secretary, now President, Bryan Burns. It turned out that a helicopter pad on firm ground was required for a royal visit to the Meon Valley and would Broadhalfpenny be available to park the aircraft for a couple of hours and for the departure of the then Prince of Wales.
On the day Bryan and his wife Pam, together with the family Jack Russell, Haggis, opened up the ground and pavilion, put the kettle on for a brew for the aircrew once the helicopter had delivered HRH to his venue and landed on the Down.
A couple of hours later HRH arrived with the Lord Lieutenant and recognised Bryan who had served with him in the Royal Navy. A brief chat and a pat on the head for Haggis (the King has his own Jack Russells) and the flight was away in a cloud of leaves.
After the pat on the head, Haggis thereafter, answered only to Sir Haggis but he lived to the ripe old age of 16 after his royal preferment.