Bowles them over

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Phew. Thank goodness that knitting shop’s just opened down the bottom of our road.

Because in the wake of the royal arrival it was touch and go if the bootees could be finished in time. But thankfully the mission’s complete. And no doubt respectful postal staff are winging the humble offering to Kensington Palace even as we speak.

And from one humble offering to another show of deference which was, of course, the inevitable reams of cap doffing newsprint that accompanies such events.

Nowhere was this more apparent than during the early episodes of the tragic Charles and Di pantomime, in which on good authority we’re told there were three in the relationship.

And so from one Parker Bowles to another. In fact Mr Derek Parker Bowles, who before the arrival of the New City appropriately performed the opening ceremony of the first phase of Bowles Place at Woughton. He was the grandson of Sir Henry Ferryman Bowles of Forty Hall, Enfield, whose family had held land at Woughton for some 300 years.

Chauffeured in a Daimler limousine, about twice a year Sir Henry would visit his Woughton estate to collect the rents, and it was just for such visits that in around 1900 a garage adjoining the village hall was especially built.

For some 21 years he was MP for Enfield, and at one time also High Sheriff of Middlesex. In 1936 the property owned by the Bowles family passed to his cousin Mrs Wilfred Shirley, who became the life tenant.

As for Derek, he lived at Newbury where he was a steward of the race course. Nowadays, of course, the time of the landed gentry has run its course, and often in the social order it now seems that the bootee is firmly on the other foot.