A MEMBER of Cumnock's Things Tae Dae group has joked about how he made a crucial error when he was in the Queen's company.

Things Tae Dae, which is a group supporting adults with learning disabilities, were part of the transformation of the Dumfries House estate over a decade ago.

After putting in the hard graft in sprucing up the Queen Elizabeth Walled Garden, members of the group got to be in the presence of The Queen herself.

"The Queen was walking up, and I looked round to see The Queen and I don't know if she was staring at me or not, but I forgot to bow," the group's Jim Menhams said.

Jim was speaking at Dumfries House, in the Walled Garden, along with group founder, Maureen Preston.

Jim Menhams and Maureen Preston from Things Tae DaeThings Tae Dae completing the work over a decade ago

Both Jim and Maureen were part of the team who transformed the garden, and who were lucky enough to be at the official opening in 2014.

"We were VIP guests on that occasion," Maureen said "So we were very lucky that we got our places round about the fountain, due to the work we had previously done in the garden.

"I think the actual atmosphere on the day was fantasic. There was only a small amount of us that were allowed to go, and just sitting there waiting and it was that excitement because we knew we were going to see her [The Queen].

"We had our wee flags and as they appraoched, The Queen was going one way and Prince Philip came up to us and started speaking to us and he was really nice."

Jim Menhams and Maureen Preston from Things Tae DaeWork from 2016

The pair could not hide their pride at the work they put in to help turn the Dumfries House estate into the famous spot it is today.

Speaking to Jim, Maureen added: "Do you remember the first time we came up here? It was raining and we were actually part of the regenration of the garden.

"We watched this wee bit do nothing and dug up for two days in the rain and we were singing and it was just a great atmosphere.

"It gave the group some self-satisfaction, because they all worked so hard but we all found different jobs."

Looking ahead to what the future holds for the estate, Maureen said she hopes to see King Charles back on the estate, after enjoying a dance with the monarch on their last meeting.

"The last time we saw him [The King] we were dancing with him.

"Through East Ayrshire Vibrant Communities, they run tea dances up in the house and King Charles - Prince at the time - had come in with the Queen Consort and he was up and he was dancing with us, and it was just a lovely day.

"He came and chatted to us all and it was just so welcoming."

Jim Menhams and Maureen Preston from Things Tae DaeJim showed his artwork to The King

Jim, a keen artist, got the chance to speak with The King after creating a picture of Dumfries House's garden.

It was something Jim won't forget in a hurry.

He said: "There's not very many people go to show their painting to The King.

"It was great when he came, but we might not see him much now that he's King."