Thankfully everything is going to plan for the launch of The Queen's Walkway in Windsor by Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of her 90th Birthday on 21st April, Thursday this week.
Last week Les and Steve, engineers from Amey, kindly gave their time to help us make the footings for the panel that The Queen will unveil at the top of Peascod Street. The panel itself will be unveiled in the carriage way of Windsor High Street first, so that as many people can see it as possible, and over looked by the statue of Queen Victoria from where Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen in 1952. A few moments later it will be moved to it's final position, in the footway, a few metres nearer to The Guild Hall. Thank you Sarah Plowman for all the help on the street works in Windsor during the last 18 months, and to Sam Mason and his gang from Murrils who kindly installed all 63 bronze EIIR markers without charge.
Meanwhile Geoff Knapp and his talented team of local designers from High Street gallery ICE have kindly been putting the new leaflet together for The Queen's Walkway. Thanks to Nicola Hine and a donation from The Louis Baylis Trust, who run the local Windsor Express Newspaper, we have been able to print 10,000 copies of the 32 page colour booklet and will make them available from the Windsor Visitor Information Centre on Thursday morning. Local photographer Gill Aspel kindly gave us permission to use lots of her great shots of Windsor's many treasures and The Trust is grateful to the many voluntary local historians who helped us with edits of the text too. Deliveries arrived Monday into Maidenhead stores, thanks to the efficiency of local printers Stephens and George. I don't think they will last long!
Meanwhile the Trust's online team have been busy updating the app to match the new content on the Official printed Guide and have today launched it on Google Play as well as the Apple Platform. It means visitors, for the first time, can now download The Queen's Walkway onto a tablet or phone before visiting Windsor and then use the mobile guide while in town. The App has been designed so that an internet connection isn't needed, saving visitors from the potential for costly roaming charges. Each of the 63 attractions is illustrated with a photo and an introduction is all made accessible for free. A nominal charge is made (to help cover the costs of maintaining the app) for those seeking an additional accurate map. The map can also be downloaded in advance, illustrating how near each marker is (and it even then tells you in which direction to travel to get to the next one). It can be quite compulsive to 'stamp' each marker visited and its fun to share your own pictures at each point with friends to show you have been too. We have noticed on twitter that some famous people have already been seen snapping their pictures with the markers including One Direction a few weeks ago!
Finally, between the many interviews and press calls that our Trust Chairman, Hugo Vickers, has been giving over the last few days he has also been hand sewing a new special banner to cover the panel in advance of the unveiling on 21st. A specially stitched EIIR, expertly crafted by Scott Heron, Head of Design at Hand and Lock, will feature in the centre of the new 'Outdoor Trust red' velvet design. It may be interesting to know that Hugo designed the banner The Queen used to unveil the Commonwealth Walkway in Malta recently too, and indeed he made the one used by The Queen in 2012 for the unveiling of The Jubilee Greenway outside Buckingham Palace as well. In fact, Hugo has made all the Walkway banners that have ever been used, going back to the start of our Walkways in 1977! Here is a sneak preview of Thursday's 90th Birthday banner:
Amazingly, the unveiling on Thursday will be tenth time that Her Majesty has supported our Walkway initiatives personally since 1977. We are deeply honoured by her decision to unveil this latest Walkway in Windsor as part of her 90th Birthday celebrations. God Save The Queen and Happy Birthday Your Majesty.