The Daily Telegraph

‘It was a beautiful experience’

Couple make friends in queue

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A retired child minder who was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2002 for raising £1.4million for a leukaemia charity said she had made a whole new group of friends while queuing.

Mandy Womack MBE, 75, and her husband, right, called the seven-hour wait a “beautiful experience”.

Mrs Womack travelled from Newport in South Wales with her husband Bruce, 75, a retired bank manager.

Mrs Womack said: “We joined the queue at 11 o’clock and waited for seven hours and it was worth every [bit]. We really enjoyed it, especially meeting everyone.”

Her husband added: “The queue was the second-best part of the day. You get a group of friends, you have a natter and pass the time and find out about one another. It was a beautiful experience.”

Mr Womack has a walking stick and brought a fold-out chair.

He said: “It was stop and start to start with and you could sit for five or 10 minutes but then all of a sudden it went unbelievab­ly fast until you got to the London Eye and it slowed down completely.

“She’s been our guardian and second mother for as long as we can remember.

“It was worth it. I won’t do the queue tomorrow but given the choice I’d do it again if I had to.”

Mrs Womack started raising money when her son Timothy developed acute lymphoblas­tic leukaemia in 1979.

He died in 1980, aged six.

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