The Long Queue

On Friday 16 September my friend Barbara Beattie and I set off for London to see The Queen Lying in State. We took the 9.35am train from Rugby to Euston. On arrival at Euston we hailed a Black Cab to take us to the end of the Queue. The driver told us that the Queue was closed, but that she would take us to see the flowers. We insisted that she took us to Southwark Park. At 11.00am, after walking across the Park, we found the end of the queue for the Queue. 

After four hours of zigzag queueing, at 3.00pm we arrived at the start of the main Queue. After more hours of queueing we arrived at Tower Bridge, where there was much excitement and cheering from the crowd when we received our much cherished wrist bands. 

The next exciting event was when we crossed Lambeth Bridge and joined the Zigzags. However, this was far from the end. Next we reached the security area where we went through a body scanner and our bags were searched. Here all food, liquids, pens, lipsticks were removed, much like as at an airport.

After all the noise and excitement of queueing for fourteen and a half hours, at 1.30am we entered Westminster Hall, and were immediately overcome by the solemnity and silence within the Great Hall.

This was a day I will never forget. Not only for the solemnity of the event, but also for the camaraderie, friendship, and good humour of everyone in the queue, including the Police and Marshals, which made the many hours of queueing more bearable, even entertaining at times.

Ann Hollingsworth