Out & About to The Houses of Parliament on Monday, April 15th, 2024

9 members embarked on a journey to London on 15th April for the BWPS’ Out & About’ to The Houses of Parliament with an excellent guided tour by our local MP Flick Drummond and her assistant Lia, who is an International Political Student from Germany working here for experience.

Despite a downpour on the way up, our time in London was dry, if a little windy. Flick spent over 2 hours with us on a full tour of the building, which included the House of the Lords and the House of Commons, with plenty of background on the daily workings of the Parliament building. A highlight was the exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at the King’s Robing Room, which is used before his attendance at ‘The State Opening of Parliament’.

Unfortunately, there were camera restrictions inside the building, not just for security reasons but also due to it being a ‘working building’. This was to ensure privacy and respect for the ongoing parliamentary activities. As a result, photographic opportunities of the grandeur of the building were very limited. However, members did pursue some opportunities in the Great Hall (scene of HM Queen Elizabeth II lying in state), a group photo on the terrace overlooking the Thames, Westminster Bridge, and the London Eye (courtesy of Lia). As well as in front of the Elizabeth Tower before exiting the grounds.

Whatever your political persuasion, the history and ceremony behind this historic building is fascinating.

Let’s not forget the shared experience of the journey home, which, unfortunately, was quite challenging. We all endured a long wait on a train at Waterloo station, a couple of train swaps, and a non-stop train back to Southampton Central, before making our way back to Winchester and Hedge End.

Our heartfelt thanks go to Flick Drummond MP and her assistant Lia for their invaluable contributions to the event. But most of all, we are deeply grateful to Mike & Maggie for their meticulous organization and planning of the day. Hopefully, all who attended enjoyed it, and we look forward to more such enriching experiences in the future.

Kev Melsome
Chair & Competition Secretary.