Sunday, 19 June 2016

TheRoyal Hotel (200th anniversary), Waterloo Dinner -war and the rememberance of war

War and the remembrance of war have dominated my time as Mayor. I am to lead the Act of Remembrance  at the war memorial on Lord Street for the Battle of the Somme, lay a paving stone to commemorate a Bootle man who won the Victoria Cross, attend a performance of Faure's requiem on 11th November and so it goes on.
On Saturday night I attended The Waterloo Dinner . The original dinner  held in the same hotel in 1816 was attended by William Gladstone's father. In recent years the present owners of The Royal Hotel; Brian, Pauline and Gordon Tartt have revived this tradition.

I have to say that we were royally entertained by the Tartt's and the hotel had laid on an excellent banquet. Each course was accompanied by a wine chosen by Jon Atkinson from the Liverpool Wine Merchant's Scatchards.
Interestingly all the wines he chose were French, the chef was German and the food English. You may consider that this is a European parable told in food and wine. Each nation complementing the others and producing something greater than the parts. I have always felt that by sitting down with our friends and neighbours and discussing things we can achieve a great deal.

It was good to see old friends. Anthony and Carol Hill attended. Anthony was , as always, soberly dresses. We were accompanied to the meal by our friend Sally Ann and Gordon Tatlock. I think Sally Ann and I were both impressed by the unusual red pudding wine Jon had chosen a Banyuls Michel Chapoutier 2013

This dinner also marked the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Royal Hotel and we were in the same room that the original Waterloo Dinner was held. Tomorrow (Sunday) I will be attending another 200th anniversary that of the Leeds Liverpool canal, the HS3 of its day. It was clearly one of the great economic drivers of the day allowing goods landed at the Liverpool docks to find their way to Manchester and over the Pennines to Leeds and so adding considerably to the prosperity of Liverpool. There was a surprise cake to mark the occasion.

I had the good fortune to be sat next to Brian Tartt who had lots of very interesting conversation about the hotel and the tradition of the Waterloo Dinner, but the time came when I had to sing for my supper.
Pauline, Brian and Gordon Tartt with their surprise cake

I had started the day in sunshine opening a community event in Waterloo. 201 years ago the weather in Belgium was not so good- and as my 'O' level history reminded me- it was because of the rain  that Napoleon delayed the battle. This fatal error gave the Prussians army time to reach the Waterloo and tip the balance in favour of Wellington's troops. It was as the Duke remarked; 'the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life'. The present day Duke sent a message to the dinner which among other things reminded us of the slaughter inflicted on both sides with deaths and casualties reaching around 50,000 men. It was just one of the many bloody European wars that have lasted for nigh on a thousand years. I am lucky to be member of the first generation not to be involved in such a war and I would wish to keep it that way for my grandchildren.

I pointed out that my wife was wearing the mayoress's  chain from the former Waterloo council. Now hear I have to make a correction. I was given duff information. I had understood the chain was from Crosby and Waterloo council, but that is not the case. On checking further it was, as several guests suggested , from the former Seaforth and Waterloo council. It dates from the reign of Edward VII and is dated 1902. It seemed appropriate to bring the Waterloo regalia to the dinner

This is not a desperately good photo and I will replace it with a better one shortly, but it does show that the medallion bearing the royal crest encrusted with diamonds, sapphires and rubies
This is not a desperately good phot and I will replace it with a better one shortly, but it does show that the medallion bearing the royal crest encrusted with diamonds, sapphires and rubies


1 comment:

  1. Tarts are eaten and pass, bicentenaries as well, but books remain. One of the best about the Battle is "Seventy images for hundred days".
    At least it´s the only permanent exhibition about Waterloo you can find at Amazon.