By Tom Vella, London, Southern & Eastern Section Chair
The London, Southern and Eastern Christmas Walk 2019 was a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament.
The Palace of Westminster is a Victorian Gothic masterpiece designed by Sir Charles Barry and A.W. Pugin to replace the medieval parliament buildings, which burnt to the ground in 1834.
Our knowledgeable guide escorted the group from Westminster Hall, which is almost 1000 years old, through many decoratively adorned rooms and corridors to the Commons and Lords’ Chambers.
Making our way through the Palace of Westminster, we were treated to an explanation of how UK Parliament works and learnt some of the dramatic history of the building and parliament.
It was interesting to hear about some of the old traditions that are still followed today, including checking the cellar before the Queen visits because of the infamous events of 5 November 1605. We also learnt how the business and traditions of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords contribute to the day to day workings of UK Parliament.
This tour was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys either politics or grand architecture.