HARD-WORKING volunteer and former Keighley mayor George Metcalf has had VIP tours of Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

Thanks to his work with young boxers George and his wife Nanette were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in the presence of the Queen.

Hearing that they were to London, Keighley MP John Grogan invited the couple to drop the Parliament to see him after their royal rendezvous.

George, who has spent several decades coaching young people at Keighley Amateur Boxing Club, was overjoyed to spend his birthday rubbing shoulders with royalty and politicians.

He said: “There were about 6, 000 people at the garden party. My wife looked lovely and enjoyed herself tremendously. We had tea and sandwiches, and had a look round Buckingham Palace.

“The Queen came out and went down the centre meeting people. The Duke of Cambridge and Kate were also there meeting people, and the Duke of Kent.”

The same evening George and Nanette went to the House of Commons where Mr Grogan gave them a tour, and they chatted with other MPs including former Bradford Council leader and Keighley man Eric Pickles.

George added: “John took us for a drink on the balcony overlooking the London Eye. He’s a thorough gentleman and an excellent host.”

Mr Grogan arranged for George and Nanette to go to the garden party after visiting Keighley Amateur Boxing Club and hearing about his life of community work.

George, a lifelong Labour Party member, is a leading light of the boxing club, a former member of Keighley Town Council, and a long-time volunteer with the Royal British Legion.

He said: “I’ve been chairman of the Keighley branch of the Royal British Legion, and was the County Youth Officer, heavily involved with the cadet forces.”

Keighley Amateur Boxing Club runs youth sessions every Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm, Ann has about 40 members aged from 10 to 16.