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28 October 2014
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Gloucestershire: The Queen Mum's special county
The Queen Mother
Wednesday at the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival was affectionately called "Queen Mum Day"


The Queen Mother had a special place in the hearts of Gloucestershire people.
See also

Gatcombe Park

The Kents

Highgrove

Queen Mother

Queen Mum: Fond memories

Tetbury traditions

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The Queen Mother was a popular royal visitor to Gloucestershire. She first started visiting the county in the 1920s and was closely linked with the National Hunt Festival.

The Queen Mother

Wednesday at Cheltenham was the day of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and was affectionately called "Queen Mum Day".

quote
The two-mile champion chase was named in her honour in 1980 and she used to present the Trophy every year to the Chase winner. She only missed the event once when she was ill with a head cold. quote
BBC Gloucestershire

The two-mile champion chase was named in her honour in 1980 and she used to present the Trophy every year to the Chase winner.

She only missed the event twice - once when she was ill with a head cold and the 2002 Festival less than three weeks before her death.

Despite her enthusiasm for the National Hunt Festival in Cheltenham she had just one winner throughout its history with Antiar who came first in a 1965 race.

She enjoyed four winners outside of the Festival all of whom have been trained by Fulke Walwyn who is Cheltenham's most successful trainer with 214 winners to date.

Local people remember the Queen Mum

For many years her itinerary on the way to the course included a stop at a local grocer's store where she would be presented with a box of her favourite chocolates by storeowner, Philip Delaney.

Mr Delaney's shop was originally on the Old Bath Road in the centre of Cheltenham and when he moved to Prestbury the Queen Mother insisted on changing her route so that she could continue to visit her favourite grocer.

The staff and pupils of Pittville School in Cheltenham would also look forward to her visits as she made a point of dropping in on the school on her way to the racecourse.

Her visit to the school in March 2001 was her first public engagement since her hip operation the previous January.

The Queen Mother sent Pittville School a portrait of herself as a thank you for the hospitality they showed her during that Gold Cup week.

The Queen Mother also enjoyed a long association with Cheltenham Ladies' College and made her first official visit to the college in 1954.

Her most memorable official visit was in May 1971 when it seemed the whole town turned out to welcome her.

She spent most of the day in Cheltenham starting at the Ladies College where she opened the sixth form centre and new teaching wing later the same day she also opened Cheltenham's brand new leisure complex and swimming pool in Tommy Taylors Lane.

The Queen Mother

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If you have any pictures or videos of the events mentioned and would like to share them then please get in touch at gloucestershire@bbc.co.uk

 
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