WHILE City of York Council and the racecourse authorities have admirably done everything possible to re-create the Royal Ascot meeting, I find it quite different to the "real thing". The main reasons, of course, are the difference between the right hand and left hand courses, and the lack of the straight mile.

Wonderful nonetheless.

My late wife and I had the good fortune to visit Royal Ascot many times between 1960 and 1985, always on the course side opposite the stands. This was an area equivalent to the normal York meeting but, almost unbelievably, free of charge, until the 1980s.

It always seemed strange having so much space right opposite the Royal Box, while those on the very expensive stands side appeared to be uncomfortably crowded, particularly on a blazing hot day... not a problem at the time of writing!

Although I love my visits to York, races or otherwise, I chose to watch the royal meeting from the comfort of my armchair but was still a little overcome by this special occasion as the memories came flooding back.

Charles Braithwaite,

Trinity Road,


Updated: 09:41 Monday, June 20, 2005