The Japanese Emperor Hirohito, Jolene, and me

SONY DSCWe were at a pre-Christmas dinner party the other evening. It was eclectic affair- an Australian lady, a Scottish lady, a Sri Lankan man, two young New Zealand women, our hosts and friends, Jonny and Linda- a home grown Kiwi couple, me as the token Welshman, and Betty, currently a Kiwi but previously an Aussie and before that an English girl with a Welsh father. It was a rather splendid evening with good food and great company. In conversation, Jolene, the Australian woman, and I discovered that, more than forty years ago we had been just yards apart in a London street.  How do we know? Because on the 5th of October 1971 we were both standing outside Victoria Station to witness the arrival of Hirohito, the 124th Emporer of Japan on a State visit. He travelled to Buckingham Palace in an open horse-drawn landeau. Jolene was there as a spectator and I was there on duty as a police constable sprung from the training school especially for the occasion.