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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Life in the Bush: Molori Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve South Africa

We recently had the honour of reviewing Molori Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve for our March Travel edition ‘Out of Kensington’.  Madikwe is a malarial-free area, some 400 km from Johannesburg and is home to the Big Five and some 350 different species of birds. Here is an excerpt from our diary:

We are having such an amazing experience and really feel we have arrived!  Molori Safari Game lodge is wonderful – very small, very understated smart, serious customer service, lovely people and no bling in sight.  We were given a two bedroom exec ‘suite’ – more like a lovely house with its own pool over looking a watering hole – the first lunchtime about 20 elephants paraded to it – along with a couple of babies – a wonderful sight.  We were v lucky as we never saw this again, and they didn’t stay long.

Game drives are typically about 4 – 6 hours long (in a session) which go surprisingly fast.  We have an excellent guide who has not been to uni, but is the most intelligent person I’ve ever met.  He is paying to send his children to private school, which I suspect is a first for an African guide.   He is extremely passionate and enthusiastic.  Highlights were coming across two lions who had just killed a wildebeest and had eaten so much they were hyperventilating; having dinner in the bush – table cloths, candles etc with the owners of the lodge and their family who happened to be on holiday at the same time as us (here think the South African equivalent of Richard Branson).  Very friendly and welcoming as were his kids (early 20s) and wife.  There was a tea-candlelit path to the loo which I expected to be a hole in the ground but no, behind a little wooden fence sat a rather splendid porcelain white loo – facing onto the bush with the stars above.

The next day we went for a night safari and came across a leopard, apparently snoozing, but a minute later was up chasing a poor baby rhino who was stuck in the mud in a watering hole.  With fierce defence and defiance from its mother the leopard backed off. The guide then cooked us a stew in the bush, this time more informal, just with some camping chairs etc. but with a very full large freezer box, akin to a full bar – plenty of whiskey.  After a lesson in astronomy we packed up at about 10.30 pm. went to see how the lions were getting on with their feasting, had a good look and then realised the jeep had a puncture.  Now this was scary stuff.  One lion a good distance off, the other about 6 – 10 feet (depending upon who you spoke to) – I reckon probably about 7 ft. However, close enough.  We managed to get the jeep a few feet further away, turned it around, and then the guide changed it – Stephen with a large spotlight to track the nearer lion, and me with a smaller torch to shine on the wheel, guide and jeep.  He managed it in about 10 minutes and then we were off.  I was rather frightened but the other lady with us was genuinely terrified.

Next day I went out on my own with the guide, for a walking safari – I thought I was very brave and that we’d been out for an hour and walked miles, but it turned out we had only gone about 500 metres!  Really interesting and learnt more about nature, biology, science and animals/birds than had done in a lifetime.  We then came across a cheetah lying under a tree.  The guide turned the jeep round (being a fellow photographer), so we had the best angle – I lay on the floor of the jeep (being the only one in it, I had plenty of room) and then played eyeball with the cheetah.  At first it was fun/an experience, but the longer it went on the more unnerved I became, so I then demanded that we move.  The most incredible sight and when we returned and the guide was beaming saying that was magnificent/amazing, for someone who goes into the bush every day, was really something.  This is an amazing trip.  They do rhino conservation too but we haven’t been able to see that in action as we hadn’t got the right passes.  All in all this is a trip of a lifetime and far surpasses the other three I’ve been on in the past.

With thanks to Jonathan Peach of JPS Luxury Safari’s for arranging this trip:  www.jpsluxurysafaris.com

Lucy & Stephen were guests of Molori Safari Lodge, and flew with Trailfinders.

Copyright and images:  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge formerly opens Kensington Aldridge Academy and the Kensington Leisure Centre

Yesterday HRH The Duchess of Cambridge officially offended the new Kensington Aldridge Academy and Kensington Leisure Centre.  The new facilities stand on the site of the former leisure centre where, during their time at Wetherby School, both Their Royal Highnesses The Duke  of Cambridge and Prince Harry had swimming lessons.

Her Royal Highness toured the academy, met Principal David Benson, students and staff, and sat in on a geography and RE lesson.  The Duchess then enjoyed a short presentation from students in the theatre before unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit (and being given a posy from 3 year old Florence Aldridge).  Before leaving the Duchess visited the academy’s Creates Hub for young entrepreneurs, and met students are are designing items for sale at Portobello Road Market.

Her Royal Highness then took a short walk to the leisure centre, due to open to residents of Kensington in March, to tour the state of the art facilities and watch sporting displays from local primary school children and other community groups.  She then attended a reception to meet those involved in the project and unveiled a plaque to mark her visit to the leisure centre.

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

Images & Copyright:  Lucy Elliott / www.lucyelliottphotography.com

First World War Commemoration: The Great War Centenary Parade with HRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent at Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea

Royal Hospital Chelsea marked this occasion with a rather spectacular ‘The Great War Centenary Parade’ where 40 Edwardian cars were driven by their owners and accompanied by Chelsea Pensioners, whose predecessors had fought in the War, from the Hospital to the Imperial War Museum. The event was organised by Nicholas Pellett whose grandfather was killed in the first World War and was held in the presence of HRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Image and copyright: Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

Hugh Grant attends Flannels 4 Heroes Cricket Match at Burton Court, Chelsea

The fourth Flannels4Heroes cricketing event took place at Burton Court, Chelsea.  Organised by Sarah Ducker of SJD Events, four teams provided the backdrop to the perfect English Garden Party for some 300 guests.  Sponsored by Dackers the event has to date raised over £100,000 for Help for Heroes, Combat Stress, Walkwith with the Wounded and the On Course Foundation.  Lending their support to the day were a variety of VIPs, amongst whom was keen cricket player, Hugh Grant.  Looking every bit as dashing as when he was manning a book shop in Notting Hill!

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

HRH Duke of Kent visits Royal Hospital Road to celebrate Founder’s Day

A beautiful day but tinged with sadness as many Pensioners were not present due to the Anniversary celebrations of D-Day at Normandy. However, those present looked radiant in their red coats. Prior to the service the Duke was shown around the new accommodation for the Pensioners and was impressed with the efforts made by many to establish the Royal Hospital as a beacon of excellence in the domain of care. The sun shone for most of the morning, making a particularly rather splendid appearance on cue for the National Anthem. At the end of the service as HRH Duke of Kent and other dignitaries walked back through the great oak doors, the bagpipes played. Everyone was still, with the bagpipes playing in the distance, quieter and quieter. Very moving. We were delighted to catch up with Joe Britten, their oldest resident who is 102 (and eight months)!

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/www.lucyelliottphotography.com
www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

Chelsea Pensioners rock when meeting Bryan Adams

This morning singer/songwriter/photographer and philanthropist Bryan Adams unveiled a berth named in his honour at Royal Hospital Chelsea. The newly revamped accommodation now reverts to a larger outside hallway, bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and study – and are much lighter that previously. 81 yr old Tom Mullaney is the proud owner of this berth, although he seemed somewhat non-plussed by the visitation of a world class pop star. Adams has a close relationship with Royal Hospital Chelsea, having performed a concert there in aid of his Foundation (The Bryan Adams Foundation) some five years ago, and will be performing there again in July.

 www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott/www.lucyelliottphotography.com

 

 

 

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park heralds the start of the Christmas period. Beaming children, happy teenagers and linked armed adults swarm the largest Wonderland so far. From the Arctic Circle, Santa Land, Zippos Christmas Circus, Ice Rink and the Giant Observation Wheel there is plenty for everyone. For those who are too terrified to try the rides, (and some are truly terrifying) there are plenty of stalls with hot mulled wine/cider, hot dogs and all things Buvarian to try … A great family event, open from 10.00 am. – 10.00 pm. to Sunday 5th January.

Images:  Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com

Childhood friends meet up in Edwardes Square after 70 years….

A fascinating coincidence took place following the publication of the book “London’s Hidden Jewel” by The Edwardes Square History Group this month. Sir John Sainty, a delightful gentleman who grew up in Edwardes Square, contacted Carrie Thomas from the Group after reading the book in a Dental waiting room in the Earls’ Court Road. He told her that he had played in Edwardes Square as a child and had fond memories of the pony and garden roller featured in one article. He was also delighted to share a picture of himself (aged 3) and his since deceased friend Peter Lawson (aged 5) sitting on the pony, taken in the Spring of 1938. Following this event, we met Carrie Thomas, Sir John Sainty and David Lawson, brother of Peter Lawson and the head gardener, David Magson in Edwardes Square to recreate the image. The two, now elderly gentlemen, were happy to pose next to the restored garden roller which would have been pulled by the famous pony all those years ago. In a lovely reminiscent moment, the gentlemen who left Edwardes Square in 1939/40, affirmed that finding this book and returning to the exact same place where the picture was taken over 70 years ago was “fate”, (although they both admitted they could not actually remember the pony or indeed posing for photographs!)

Text: Isere Lloyd-Davis
Images: With thanks to Sir John Sainty and www.lucyelliottphotography.com

 

The Mayor and Mayoress of RBKC lead the Remembrance Service in Kensington

Many of us feared the worst when torrential rains hit Kensington on the Friday and Saturday prior to the Remembrance Service. However on the Sunday, the weather turned out to be quite beautiful and nothing remotely similar to the experience those we had come to salute, had had in the trenches. The Mayor and Mayoress were joined by a full complement of Councillors together with Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP for the Borough. Local members of the Armed Services of all ages gathered in regiments in front of the Town Hall, and then proceeded to the Memorial. The crowd was much larger than usual and credit must be given to those who planned this event. For what seemed like the first time vehicles were temporarily stopped for the Two Minute Silence and the sounding of the Last Post. Rather movingly a single leaf floated down from the overhanging tree during the Last Post. Children stood alongside adults, very solomnly reciting the Lord’s Prayer but more obvious  gusto when it came to singing the National Anthem. Amongst those who presented at the Memorial, was a little girl, carefully placing her red balloon alongside the wreaths, quietly once all the crowds had gone.

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott / Lucy Elliott Photography.com

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

HRH Prince Michael of Kent unveils memorial to Colonel Carlos at Royal Hospital Road

Some 90 descendants of Colonel William Carlos attended this event, of all ages, together with representatives from Royal Hospital Road. Carlos was credited with saving King Charles II by hiding him in the Boscobel Oak whilst Cromwell’s army were searching for him. King Charles II is recognised as the founder of Royal Hospital Chelsea, when in 1681 he issued a Royal Warrant for its foundation. Each Founder’s Day, as it was today, the statue is covered with oak leaves to remind us of his escape after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The text of the King’s 1658 Grant of Arms to Colonel Carlos makes clear the King’s conviction that the Colonel’s actions at Boscobel were the main reason for his own, and thus the Royal Family’s, survival.

From an anthropological perspective it was lovely to see 90 people introducing each other to other parts of this extended family and find out exactly how they were related.  Congratulations must go to John Doble (descendant) who organised much of today’s event.

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

To see more images from this event, please go to:  http://clients.lucyelliottphotography.com/v/photos/80298twf

Images and Copyright:  Lucy Elliott / Lucy Elliott Photography