www.paydaybur.co.uk

Obituary: Dr Joan Martin (102) who saved many lives at the Bethnal Green Tube Disaster

Born in November 1915 Joan trained as a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital. In 1943 she found herself the only Casualty Doctor (a junior doctor at that) on duty at the Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital on the night of the fateful Bethnal Green Tube Disaster. This was the UK’s largest single loss of civilian life during World War II where more than 170 people were crushed to death. Joan led the team treating the casualties at the hospital and saved many lives. She was advised by the Government never to mention what happened that night. It was only in her 80s that she started to speak of it. She suffered regular nightmares as a result of that night.In the early 1960s she set up the ‘Swimming for Disabled People’ club based at Walmer Road, Kensington where, together with John Scott & other volunteers, she provided this service for over fifty years (she gave up at 96!) Joan was awarded an MBE for 1985 and aged 88 she dived in the Agean Sea to save the then Bishop of Kensington from drowning. Local resident, Joy Puritz, wrote Joan’s autobiography in 2011 ‘
‘Passing the Flame: The Life and Work of Dr Joan Martin’ detailing Joan’s extraordinary life, including her work, not just as a medic and doctor, but also as Girl Gider, Pilgrim,Volunteer and devout Christian. In May 2012, at the recommendation of Lucy Elliott, Joan was awarded as Runner-up in the The Times/Sternberg Active Life Award 2012
resulting in a trip to No. 10 Downing St. In 2014 a group of friends arranged a surprise party. Joan was sadly ill, but it turned out we were a year early (!) and in 2015 to great fanfare Joan was given a huge party, with many friends coming long distances to share her celebration. Last December, a monument was finally unveiled to recognise those who had died in the 1943 Disaster. Joan was well enough to attend this event and to the end, she had full clarity. She died amongst friends, at home on January 15, 2018. A life (very) well lived.
A memorial service for Joan will be held at St Mary Abbots on 15 February at 11.00 am.

Draycott Nursing & Care Annual Christmas Carol Service for Canine Partners

In December friends and colleagues attended the Annual Christmas Carol Service with a difference – watching 12 fully trained canine partners demonstrate their talents in helping disabled people lead full lives. The service was attended by some 450 guests, and readers included the singer Pati Boulay, David Robb (Downton Abbey), Michael Paluso, Rula Lenska and James Dreyfus. The event raised over £40,000 resulting in enough funding for the training of two dogs – an Amazing Result

Marrakech through the ages – In three days

Morocco is a city of contrasts; colour, poverty, dust, antiques, donkeys, motorbikes, horse drawn carts, history, architecture, artisans and gastronomic delight.  To take all this in, in three days is quite an assault on the mind and body.

For a good place to start your tour is the new Almaha Marrakech Riad based in the the Kasbah district of Marrakech, a 20 minute walk from the main square of Jemaa-el-Fna – from where it is possible to see the whole of Morocco in a condensed state.  Almaha Marrakech which opened in February, is run by a small team.  It comprises 12 rooms and suites, the size of which places it in the ’boutique’ hotel category.  Each suite on the first floor has its own private staircase leading directly to a large roof terrace, divided into private spaces by the clever use of fencing made up of Bougainvillea.  From here you have the vantage of surveying the whole of Marrakech and beyond to the Atlas mountains.  Also on the roof terrace is a small swimming pool and a covered terrace for breakfast or dinner.  The hotel is situated in a residential area meaning that you hardly see any other tourists and become immersed in the culture quicker. We built up a good rapport with the gentleman who sold water from a kiosk just minutes from the hotel and despite walking from the main Square back to the road at night, we felt much safer than we would have done in London.  Almaha Marrakech provides excellent food and you should definitely try their speciality (and indeed Morocco’s) of lamb tagine with prune and almonds.  Off the main courtyard is the Library where a wall panel of hand-folded books features the words from the poem by Charles Baudelaires ‘L’invitation au voyage’.  Another lovely room is the Pixel Room, so named due to the 23,000 or so silk pieces of fabric manually fitted  together to represent the Mosque and surrounding area of the Jamaa-el-Fna.  Bearing in mind the heat, a spa and hamman with its various treatments on offer is very welcome. A time to reflect on all that you have seen and done during your stay.
The architecture of Marrakech is varied and beautiful – places we would highly recommend as visiting are the Medersa Ben Youssef containing the most exquisite stone carvings you have ever seen representative of the Arab-Andalusian architecture;  The Secret Garden containing two sections – one for indigenous planting and the other showcasing plants from five continents; the Virtual Museum of the Public Square which holds temporary exhibitions reflecting local heritage and culture; The Marrakech Museum with its fantastic mosaics. For a rest from serious culture, go to Jemaa-el-Fna at night and see Marrakech come alive with its informal culture; snake charmers, medicine men, tooth pullers, storytellers, acrobats, musicians and entertainers.
You can walk everywhere, but at the end of the day, after some 8 miles of walking never has a spa or a sunbed been so welcome!
Lucy and Stephen were guests of Almaha Marrakech
Almaha Marrakech, 55 Derb Ben Zina, La Kasbah, 40040 Marrakech, Morocco   www.almahamarrakech.com

Images and copyright:  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

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Radiant HRH The Princess Royal reviews Chelsea Pensioners at Founder’s Day Parade

HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the refurbished Wren designed ‘Long Wards’ whilst visiting Royal Hospital Road, home to the Chelsea Pensioners, at their recent annual Founder’s Day Parade. Dressed in pale blue and looking strikingly similar to the Queen at a young age, she enchanted the men in scarlet and showed her mother’s knack for sharing a quick joke with all she met. Sporting an Oak Leaf, symbolic of the tree King Charles II hid behind in order to avoid capture by the Parliamentary forces in 1661 at the Battle of Worcester, ‘Oak Apple Day’ as Founder’s Day is also known, is held on a day closest to King Charles II birthday (29th May) and the date of his restoration as King in 1660.  Those attending the parade represented many of the British corps, rejiments and military charities of which HRH The Princess Royal is Colonel in Chief, Colonel or Patron.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott, www.lucyelliottphotography
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Out of Kensington: Hartwell Hotel & Spa

Sitting in 90 acres of sweeping fields, landscaped gardens, ha ha’s and a lake is the beautiful Hartwell House – an Historic House Hotel, one of only three in the UK, owned by the National Trust.

Just an hours car journey from London this historic house, built in the seventeenth century, now provides a true respite from the rush of London life. In the past carriages would have bought you to the huge wooden front door via the mile long avenue of Lime trees. Today you approach via a sweeping drive to be met by a statue of Frederick, Prince of Wales. The door opens and you are immediately in the Jacobean Great Hall – where high ceilings, works of art, antiques, traditional furnishings and a large wood burning fire place greet you.

Over the years, various architectural additions have been made resulting in architectural styles such as Jacobean, Gothic revival, Victorian and Georgian interiors. The gardens, in the style of Capability Brown, have also received various designs. As an example, and in addition to the ha ha’s, there are statues, gazeebos, follies – and the mid-section of the bridge originally formed part of Kew Bridge.

Leading to the rooms in the main house is a fine example of a Jacobean staircase complete with statues. Rooms are large with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the countryside and gardens. Our room, The Queen’s Bedroom comes complete with four poster bed, his and hers walk-in wardrobe, floor to ceiling windows, artwork, antiques, multiple sofas and armchairs. This room originally belonged to Queen Josephine when she and King Louis where exciled from France and lived at Hartwell House from 1809 – 1814.

Hartwell House is clearly a popular destination for both residents and non-residents – many were enjoying formal Afternoon Tea, and the restaurant at dinner was full with couples, groups and those attending a corporate event. Chef Daniel Richardson is locally known as the chef who bought Aylesbury Duck back on the menu – traditionally quite a difficult bird to cook and one which takes skill, especially as it is quite a fatty bird. Sadly, not being in season on our visit, we were still able to chose from an extensive menu: Pan friend scallops with apple and fennel salad, accompanied by cauliflower and lime leaves; Veloute and pan friend fillet of Hallibut with crushed potatoes, artichokes, saute leeks and crab sauce or Beetroot macaroon with goats cheese mouse as examples. Deserts were equally exotically named.

Walking around the grounds on a beautiful Autumn’s afternoon is a real treat. If walking does not give you enough excerise, there are tennis courts and a croquet lawn. The converted former stables provide elegant space for a gymnasium, large swimming pool, together with sauna, spa and beauty rooms. Again non-residents are very welcome with day spa packages being popular and a smart cafe/restaurant is on-site overlooking the pool area.

Hartwell House is well situated being close to London and Oxford and is ideal for overnight or longer stays, combining with other attractions in the area. It provides a relaxing break from London in old traditional surroundings, comfortable and classy with no bling in sight!
Lucy and Stephen were guests of Hartwell House

Hartwell House Hotel & Spa, Oxford Road, Nr Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP17 8NR
www.hartwell-house.com 01296 747444

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Images: Copyright:  Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com

Jazzing it up in Paris!

I am never quite sure why people fly to Paris, when Eurostar is so convenient, not least to mention quick, especially from Kensington. Premium Standard offers wide seats, snack meal accompanied by wine, tea and coffee. The fields of England and France pass by in a jiffy and within 2.25 hours you are in Paris.

Once you have arrived, and taken a short metro trip is the 5* Hotel La Tremoille situated in the ‘Golden Triangle’ between Avenue George V, the Champs Elysees and Avenue Montaigne, where, in addition to the top end retailers, are also many restaurants – modern, traditional (Belle Epoque style), expensive and otherwise.

The hotel, built in the Haussmann style in 1883 originally as a private home is an architecturally grand building. In the 1960s both Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington stayed there, placing the hotel in the centre of Jazz life in Paris, where every June/July the Paris Jazz Festival is held.

It well known that hotel rooms in Paris are characteristically small (indeed some are tiny). We
were lucky enough to have a room at the top of the hotel, overlooking the Golden Triangle complete with two ceiling height French windows leading onto an original wrought iron balcony and from which, armed with Gin and Tonics at night, we could see the sun going down. One unusual feature of the room was that it had its own service hatch, so breakfast could be sent to the room without staff intruding. Although the hotel is so centrally placed it sits in a quiet street and also offers a spa and wellness centre.

The restaurant, ‘Louis’, on a Monday evening, was (as befalls most hotel restaurants) rather quiet, which was a shame as the tuna tartar with avocado mousse was excellent, as was the risotto and guinea fowl breast.

So what’s to do in Paris? Well being so central – only a few minutes walk from the Champs Elysees and hence the Metro it is easy to be anywhere within a short space of time. Shopping is an obvious pastime, a boat trip down the Seine affords an excellent way to see the highlights of Paris from the river frontage and learn about its history. A particular recommendation and
despite having visited Paris many times previously, we had never visited, was the Ile St Louis – a delightful, authentic village built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Comprising narrow one way streets, two bus stops and no metro, it is a residential village with beautiful traditional architecture and small shops (mostly selling ice cream or home made chocolates).

With the speed of Eurostar and the centrality of the hotel, even a short break in Paris can seem like a true holiday.

Lucy and Stephen were guests of Eurostar and Hotel La Tremoille

Travel Information:
La Trémoille, 14, rue de la Trémoille, 75008 Paris,
Rates start from €360 (£256) per room per night including a continental breakfast and wi-fi. For further information or to book visit www.hotel-tremoille.com or call +33 156521400.

Eurostar operates up to 18 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord with return fares from £69.
www.eurostar.com/ or 03432 186186

Fast and convenient check-in – passengers are requested to arrive only 30 minutes before departure

The extra baggage allowance you get on Eurostar vs planes (Eurostar offers each person 2 bags/suitcases and 1 piece hand luggage)

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www.lucyelliottphotography.com

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace!

Kensington Palace is putting on a unique fashion exhibition displaying the beautiful coats and dresses belonging to Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana. It is a rare opportunity to see the intricate designs and patterns of the gowns up close while enjoying videos and images of the royals wearing the outfits at various regal events. The exhibition shows her Majesty’s slim frame and classic style, as well as Princess Margaret’s Hollywood influenced party gowns and Diana’s 90s shoulder padded jackets and bouffant skirts. The fascinating captions next to the dresses indicate the designer and the choice of colours or design relating to the type of event they were made for. Don’t miss it!

The images below show (r-l):  Princess Margaret Evening Gown in cream silk satin 1951; HM The Queen, silk dress and fur coat with fur trim 1972 and Diana, Princess of Wales Evening Dress, Zandra Rhodes 1986

Text:  Isere Lloyd-Davis

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Images and copyright:  By kind courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces