A privilege and an honour

Paul Morrison at Buckingham Palace
Paul Morrison at Buckingham Palace

Two north Northumberland residents attended the Queen’s Garden Party this week, in recognition of their hard work and dedication.

Dr Paul Morrison, of Amble, and Mary Scott, from Rothbury, were invited to Buckingham Palace, in London, for the special event on Tuesday.

They have described the occasion as amazing and have spoken of their pride and privilege of being selected for the party.

Dr Morrison was recognised for devoting 30 years to the conservation of the RSPB reserve, Coquet Island, near to Amble, which is now the sole UK home to Britain’s rarest nesting seabird, the roseate tern.

His name was put forward to the Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, the Duchess of Northumberland, by Viscount Ridley.

“I was absolutely delighted to attend, but it was a complete surprise to find out that I had been put forward,” he said.

“It was organised to perfection and full of colour with a bit of eccentricity here and there.

“I must say though that what we do on Coquet Island is very much a team effort.”

Dr Morrison chose attention-grabbing attire for the event. He said: “I decided to bring a bit of Northumberland to the Palace so wore an authentic Northumberland tartan kilt, which was made in Warkworth. I guess it is the first time the Northumberland tartan has made an entrance at a garden party, judging from the reaction and interest of the Yeomanry Guardsmen who were delighted to have a kilted presence at the event.

“When they realised it was a Northumberland tartan, one exclaimed ‘even better’.”

Mary was invited to attend the event for services to the community in Rothbury, which she has served for decades.

She said: “I couldn’t even explain how good it was, it was just super and the weather was terrific. We talked to the Duke of York who knows Northumberland well. Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was there as well.

“The outfits were just wonderful, although there were some very odd ones. It was just an amazing day, you couldn’t imagine how good it was.

“You couldn’t fault it either, it was absolutely perfect.”