Bob battles ‘The Beast’ to make his Palace date

By Royal Appointment: Bob Wayne (centre)  on duty with the Lions - without a snowflake in sight.
By Royal Appointment: Bob Wayne (centre) on duty with the Lions - without a snowflake in sight.

Nothing was going to stop Bob Wayne representing Horncastle Lions at a reception at Buckingham Palace last week - not even the Beast from the East at its very worst.

The reception was hosted by Sophie Countess of Wessex and Mr Wayne was one of three Lions from the area to attend.

His initial plan to travel to London by coach was abandoned because of the weather.

Undaunted, Mr Wayne drove to Grantham station and was lucky enough to get a ticket on a train to London.

Mr Wayne said: “The weather in London was almost more bleak than Lincolnshire.

“The last half mile walk across Green Park in driving snow could only be described as polar.”

Having reached Buckingham Palace - and attended the evening reception - Mr Wayne had to get back to Lincolnshire.

He explained: “The return journey on one of the few un-cancelled trains was in fact remarkably easy - until the last two miles of the drive back to Horncastle when I had to abandon my car near Hatlham.

“The snow was drifting across the road and when I realised I was driving on the verge,and not the actual road surface I realised I’d got as far as I could.”

Mr Wayne thought he might have tio wlak the rest of the way but fortunately, he ‘hitched’ a lift in a passing 4x4 which took him home.

Mr Wayne added: “I am not sure how responsible an act it was to travel in those conditions but it was rather a case of ‘Horncastle expects’ and an opportunity I would have always regretted not taking.

“The remarkable thing about the reception was that on possibly the worst night of winter weather for many years, the chamber was packed with Lions from all over the UK.

“The Countess is the very popular patron of the Lions and talked to many of the guests.

“She praised the work of the Lions and thanked everyone for attending.

“She also said watching the ‘crocodile of Lions’ straggling head down in the blizzard across the Palace courtyard brought to mind the famous painting of the ‘Retreat from Moscow!”