Uncertain weather failed to dampen the spirits of the 40 members of the Clan Hay Society who attended a barbecue lunch on Sunday at Woodbury Hall, the Bedfordshire home of the Chief and Lady Erroll. Those attending came mainly from southern England, but we were delighted to welcome our treasurer, Pam Rotheroe-Hay and Tom Hye, our dynamic convenor for continental Europe, who brought a large party from Belgium. This group included Philippe Vervoort, the Chief's personal piper and Pipe Major of the Clan Hay Pipe Band, who entertained us with several selections of stirring tunes on his bagpipes.
The barbecue was manned by the Chief's two sons, Harry (Lord Hay) and Richard, and was accompanied by a magnificent spread provided by Lady Erroll and her staff. After lunch, the Chief led a guided tour of Woodbury Hall, an interesting house which has been in Lady Erroll's family for many centuries, where we had the opportunity to view many artefacts associated with Clan Hay, including portraits of the Chiefs and their families from the 16th century to the present day, among them works by George Jamesone, Daniel Gardner, Francis Cotes and Sir Francis Grant. Other artefacts on display included the midshipman's dagger belonging to William IV (whose daughter married the 18th Earl of Erroll), the court sword worn by the 21st Earl with his diplomatic uniform and the 18th Earl's ceremonial mace which denoted his royal household position as Master of the Horse to Queen Adelaide.
We are grateful to Lord and Lady Erroll and their family for making us so welcome.