The Queen comes to Broder
The date of 19th April 2016 will live long in the memory of Broder employees. We had all received an email from Mike at 6.50am saying that as part of her birthday celebrations, the Queen is touring the country and today was in South Yorkshire and would be visiting Broder Metals Group – text below:
Subject: Confidential & Important – Please read immediately
As you will know, it is Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday this week.
I have now been given permission to reveal that I was contacted last week and have been having confidential discussions during the weekend about the Queen paying a visit to Broder Metals Group Ltd today. It may be that the Queen wants to show support for the steel industry at this time, and going to Tata plants would be seen as too political, or it may be due to the fact that my brother used to work for Prince Charles at Highgrove, and my consultancy business did some work there in the past – nepotism and privilege may not be dead! However, whatever the reason we can expect a visit sometime during today (probably this morning), although the timing is not being revealed.
I am told that the visit will be brief, that security will be covert and the visit must be kept low key – I am afraid you cannot tell anyone outside of the company until after the visit. The visit is also to some extent dependent on there being no delays during the schedule before the Queen is due here. I think it fair to say to avoid any disappointment that if time is short our visit is likely to be sacrificed.
I will have to introduce people and point out the job role. However, we will also need two members of staff to “meet and greet”. The fairest way to give everyone who wants the chance to meet the Queen to do so is to draw names out of a hat – please let me know asap if you want to be one and I will make the draw as soon as the last staff member to arrive is here.
Because of security concerns and issues of timing there is little chance to get things ready. There are lots of things we need to do in a hurry please:
– tidy up the main office – papers away, books and papers off desks, wall cupboard tops, floors etc – everyone please
– Hoover entrance hall – I will do this
– Tidy up lobby and take down erroneous papers and statistics off the noticeboards (I will get Chloe on this)
– I will ask Chloe to go across to Morrisons for a bunch of flowers or plants if we do not have any vases
– ladies – please make sure the Ladies loo is well stocked, is neat and tidy and presentable.
Everyone please look around and see that the place is workmanlike but inviting – no cakes, buns, chocolate etc. out. I am sure we can have a small celebration after the Queen and everyone connected has gone.
This is an honour for Broder – let’s make the Queen’s visit one to remember for everyone here.
Now we’re normally quite a cynical lot, but the tone of Mike’s email (and the sight of him frantically hoovering the offices as everyone arrived for work) just had us believing that something special might be in the offing. Would you? Plausible and exciting are words that have been bandied about.
So, at 12pm a vehicle pulled into our car park and we lined up in anticipation. Mike went out to open the door and returned to the office to present the Queen:
It should probably be mentioned at this stage that Mike’s brother is a bee-keeper, and had purchased another queen to establish a new hive and had it delivered to Broder so it would be safe. Disappointing but we saw the funny side of it, eventually (although Mike does seem to have disappeared – and we have picked up a ghost. At least that is our explanation for all the banging and shouting coming from one of the store rooms which has mysteriously become locked. No one wants to go in to investigate).
And if nothing else, at least Mark’s desk received its biennial clean!
The (not-quite-by-royal-appointment) Broder Blogger