Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

Home » Join us » Members’ stories » An unforgettable day

An unforgettable day

On a cool June morning Eddie and I were present at the culminating Royal event on Runnymede meadows celebrating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.

Having attended several planning meetings since early 2014, I received a confidential e-mail invitation.

Security procedures were cleared and two days before, I was told that Eddie and I, my faithful Guide Dog were to be among a select few who were to be presented to Her Majesty queen Elizabeth. I was permitted to have a trusted friend to assist me and shortly before 8 a.m. we were allowed to take our places on the front row in the specially constructed arena.

Before us was a large stage on which a large screen, a performance space and seats for the Royal party were set up. My friend kept up a commentary on events. The London Philharmonic orchestra played and David Starkey, provided a riveting commentary throughout.

Displays of dancing which included mobility and other disabled children performed, together with large child-operated puppets. The Duke of Cambridge was the first “Royal” to arrive, followed by Princess Anne and husband before the Queen and her husband.


Other personages included David Cameron, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the US Attorney General. On a given signal, I was ushered to stand in line for her majesty to walk along and speak briefly to us. In less than two minutes I was able to tell her that I represented Surrey Coalition and Runnymede Access Liaison Group. “Jolly good!” was the royal reply.

The moment passed so fast!

The new “jurists” art installation of 12 Bronze chairs was unveiled by the American Bar Association London’s Temple choristers sang a special anthem composed by John Rutter and the formalities came to an end. Not quite so. While sitting on a bronze chair which had Braille commemorating the 1920 March of the Blind in America; a Spitfire, a Typhoon jet fighter and the Red Arrows roared overhead.

Nothing to do with me, David Starkey was concluding his work when he remarked, “That Guide Dog on the front row lay down and went to sleep when anyone, including her majesty made a speech. As soon as they stopped, he woke up!”. One related development is that many new road safety improvements will be a legacy. New crossings over the riverside A308 and in time massive pedestrian improvements to the Runnymede roundabout will help the public to access our heritage landscape.

Perhaps I had a hand. Monday June 15th, 2015 will remain in my mind as long as I live.

Jonathan Fisher.

I must thank, Kim Birch (SCC MC Consortium) and Mary Smith for their patient support.

Recent Posts: Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

01.04.2021 weekly update

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We hope you had a lovely Easter. See this link for 1st April weekly update. Apologies it is a little bit late this time, but there is a lot of useful information for you, so do have a look!

26.03.2021 Weekly update

Happy Friday everyone! Here is your reading for the weekend, Coalition update! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and you know it’s officially spring already?

SMEF and IMHN findings about mental health impact of Covid-19 on people from BAME groups

Independent Mental Health Network and Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum have worked together to investigate the Mental Health impact of Covid-19 on people from BAME groups and barriers to accessing services and support.  Click this link to see the results of the survey on IMHN website.

Meet one of our Directors

Surrey Coalition, as you may or may not know, has a Board of 10 Directors. You can read a little about them here. In the near future we are going to create some short videos, where our Board Directors are introducing themselves. Luke has most recently joined our Board, and if you would like to […]

18.03.2021 weekly update

Happy Friday everyone! Here is your reading entertainment for the weekend! We hope you enjoy it!