MU Meeting – 15th May 2024

Our speaker this month was Ruth McNeil, with her topic ‘Behind the Scenes at Royal Events’.

Ruth already worked for Manchester Chamber of Commerce on the organisation of big events, including mayors and Royal visitors, with a staff of 3000 and a budget of £32m! So, she wasn’t a novice at working behind the scenes. However, when she was called into her boss’s office (wondering what she had done wrong), she was asked instead to take on the post of Head of Protocol for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, just a short while before the Games were to begin – a different task altogether! She had to deal with the VIPs – 2500 of them – including the late Queen and other Royals, Heads of States, Prime Ministers etc.

Not only did the Queen have to open the amazing Commonwealth Games, but in the two days she and the Duke of Edinburgh were there, had to attend 15 other social events, all tightly scheduled and meticulously detailed. Naturally, security for everyone was seriously vetted, using the Armed Forces, tested, adjusted and even a dress rehearsal before the actual events. All cars and coaches were to be checked. Ruth’s stories were remarkably interesting and amusing alongside the seriousness of security and protocol.

Everyone really enjoyed the talk and felt privileged to have heard all about the work behind the scenes and watched some of the excerpts. In every event there is a lot of work behind the scenes, and everyone plays their part to make it successful.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday June 11th at 7.30pm in the evening when we will hold our annual Strawberry Supper to which we invite all our MU Deanery friends.

This year we have Kate Pwaisiho as a speaker, talking about MU in the Solomon Isles. Please do come if you can. Tickets are £5 to include a Strawberry Supper and cakes. There will be a Bring and Buy stall, book stall and raffles. 

If you want more details, please ring me on HC 533882 (mob. 07942 900292) . Thank you.

Carole Elliott