When the Queen sheltered in a pub from a blizzard

Where the Queen sheltered from the blizzard

We had a slow start to our journey home to Wales today. So I decided to make a short diversion from the M4 to the Cross Hands Inn at Old Sodbury in Gloucestershire for lunch.

It was a nostalgic visit. I stopped here with Mum and Dad for dinner aged 17 the day my niece Siân was born in 1980. (We’d had an evening journey to Swindon to meet Siân for the first time.) Earlier that year, Dad’s car caught fire in the car park as he was setting off home to Cardiff with my grandmother after celebrating her 89th birthday. Nan thought it was a great adventure, returning to Wales in the breakdown truck.

But none of these visits was quite as significant as the day in 1981 when the Queen sheltered at the Cross Hands in a blizzard. The pub has a plaque commemorating the occasion (above).

The winter of 1981/82 was a real winter. It snowed a lot – culminating in a 48 hour blizzard in early January. (Presumably the Queen was safely at home during that winter wonderland.) I blogged about it after a brief winter white-out early in 2009. Meanwhile, here’s a photo I took at home in Cardiff just two days before the Queen sheltered in the Cross Hands.

Winter 1981: two days before the Queen’s pub visit