Beryl Leighton was more than surprised when she was told that she had been nominated to travel to London to receive Maundy money from the Queen.

Mrs Leighton, now 92, received the Maundy money from the Queen in 2018.

"There were all these men dressed in ceremonial robes and this small figure in blue in among them," she said.

"She is so small that at first you could not even see her."

Mrs Leighton said there were 90 men and 90 women receiving the Maundy money.

"The thing that struck me the most was her smile - and how she managed to keep that smile for absolutely everyone."

She said the Queen was the same generation as she - 'a generation that saw many things and perhaps more deaths than now.'

As she grew up, though, Princess Elizabeth was the elder daughter of the Duke of York.

"There was no thought of her being Queen then. We used to refer to both sisters at once - Elizabeth and Margaret Rose."

Why was Mrs Leighton nominated to receive the Maundy money?

It was possibly because of her work with the girls section of teh YMCA, the WYCA, working with young women in Leeds, Birmingham and Dagenham.

From the Black Country, Mrs Leighton came to Maryport in 1961 and met her future husband, now the late Donald Leighton when he represented Netherhall School at a discussion at the Maryport Settlement.

She followed her husband into teaching and she joined St Mary's Church.

"I went to Sunday School and then to church and I do not remember a time when I didn't."

At St Mary's she helped lead discussion groups, helped with the readings or distributing the wine at Communion time.

In fact, she was nominated because she did all these things and anything else that was needed during what was then 47 years of service.

Maundy money is a ceremony based on the Bible story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, with the commandment that we are humble and love one another.