Two pensioners, who are regarded as “royalty” within a Leicestershire village, have opened a cafe at a home for people with special needs, where they were able to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in style.
The event happened on Thursday (June 2), at Thringstone’s Old School House, where Geoff and Pauline Walker were on hand to open a special ‘Cafe Royal’ in the gardens of the facility.
Janet, one of the residents, was also made ‘Queen for a day’ in order to assist with the grand opening, where she was given full red carpet treatment.
“We wanted to make sure the residents enjoyed themselves and they had a really lovely time, and celebrate this historic event”, said Leslie Mansfield, manager of the Old School House, which sits in Thringstone’s Main Street.
“There wasn’t just excitement on the day, but also in the build up the the event – a great buzz and lots of hustle and bustle as everyone got involved.
“We asked Geoff and Pauline to open the cafe as they are the King and Queen of the village”, she added.
“It was great for them to come down and do that for us, and for the community to be involved as well. It was just a really nice, community event, and one to remember for a long time”.
Geoff and Pauline Walker are well-known across the village of Thringstone and far beyond, boasting over 320,000 followers on social media platform Instagram.
They have attracted media interest across the world in recent years, after a post made by 91-year-old Geoff went viral back in 2017.
Aside from their dedicated community work, the couple are applauded for the love and devotion they display towards one another, which gives hope to younger generations who regularly view their posts on social media.
“We’re only a couple of ordinary pensioners really, but it was a real honour to open the cafe for the residents at the Old School House. In fact we were quite humbled”, said Geoff, who was given special Maundy money by the Queen last year for his services to the church and local community.
“It’s a wonderful place and the staff go above and beyond, they really do, so we were more than happy to support”.
Speaking of the Queen, Geoff said that she was “remarkable lady”, who has done the country proud over the course of her 70 year reign.
“In 1952 (the year she ascended the throne), I was serving as a soldier in the Armed Forces and remember taking part in the Trooping of the Colour”, he told the Leicester Times.
“She’s amazing really. Despite all the things she’s had to go through in her personal life, she still continues to face the public and does it with such wonderful grace and dignity”.
“She’s a wonderful and very elegant lady”, added Pauline, 89.
To find out more about the Old School House, visit the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Old-School-House
To follow Geoff and Pauline on Instagram, visit: https://www.instagram.com/geoffreywalk
By Louise Steel