A West Bank Residential Home staff member was inspired to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II after a resident’s 99th birthday fell on the day of the Queen’s passing.

Activities and wellbeing coordinator at West Bank Residential Home, Kay Eacups, took the “spur of the moment” decision to visit London to see the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall.

Kay, her husband, and her daughter arrived in London at 3am, September 18, and embarked the queue at 4.15am.

Twelve-and-a-half hours and 28,000 steps later, Kay and her family entered Westminster Hall to pay respects on behalf of the residents of West Bank.

Kay was kindly given leave by her manager to make the visit, being such an important time for so many at the home.

At the time of the Queen’s death, Kay was not immediately compelled to make the trip, but seeing how her passing had affected the residents, she felt it her duty to pay respects on behalf of so many at the home who followed the Queen through her 70 year reign.

To many, Her Majesty was seen as a constant in an ever-changing world. During Kay’s visit, West Bank enjoyed a traditional royal tea to commemorate the day.

The queue was something of an adventure in itself, Kay met fellow mourners from around the country. Her time in the queue gave her the chance to see the London sights.

At 4.45pm and exhausted Kay entered Westminster Hall and for a brief moment, she felt the exhaustion fade as she paid respects. From the peaceful, sombre atmosphere of the hall, she exited back to busy London.

She said: “When you come back out to the busyness of London, it was like two different worlds.”

Meanwhile, a sweet tribute to The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh from the town’s yarn bombers appeared on a Ross post box (pictured below, photo by Joy Griffiths).

A special Commemorative Service for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday at St Mary’s Church also saw the Chairman of the Council, Julian Utting, lay a floral tribute by Designer Flowers on behalf of Ross-on-Wye Town Council and the Mayor.

And in a post last week, Ross vicar Rev Tiffany Jackson said: “Our nation has experienced an extraordinary array of emotions...

“For some people the loss of Her Majesty will bring up grief from the loss of a partner, parent, or friend.

“For those that lost relatives during the pandemic, the ceremony and attention for the Queen’s funeral may bring up feelings of resentment and hurt because they didn’t get to give their loved ones a proper send off.

“If you are struggling with grief, we are here to help. We can be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or a resource to find appropriate help. Don’t let the chaos and kaleidoscope that is grief and emotions and life, keep you from reaching out. It’s normal; it’s hard; but we are in this together with all the array of feelings.”