His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex, visits two of his Patronages and a newly build hospice.
HRH first visited Chetham’s School of Music to view the newly built school. He enjoyed a brief section of a concert rehearsal where he asked questions of the students. HRH was shown around each of the floors of the building and visited a number of the classrooms before returning to the Oglesby Atrium where hundreds of students, staff and supporters were gathered. HRH made a speech before unveiling a plaque to formally declare the building open.
HRH’s second visit was to the Royal Exchange Theatre and to meet a number of young school children that were there for a Theatre Workshop. He then sat through the performance which the children had been rehearsing at various parts of the day and expressed his delight to see the result of their work. Following lunch HRH met many of the Theatre’s donors and supporters.
His Royal Highness’ final visit in the county was to the newly constructed Wigan and Leigh Hospice. As he arrived he drove past rows of hundreds of children from local school that cheered and waved flags to welcome him. After disembarking from the car HRH went over to meet the Executive Head and some of the children before entering the hospice. HRH toured the hospice and met many of the volunteers and staff before greeting a number of patients. He unveiled a plaque to declare the building open.
The Duke of Gloucester came to the county for a busy day of visits.
HRH first visited Oldham College. The Principal, Mr. Alun Francis escorted HRH into the new building where he had the opportunity of seeing some of the new classrooms and meeting a number of members of staff as well as students. Mt Francis escorted HRH onto the roof for a panoramic view of the town and surrounding countryside before inviting him to unveil a plaque and officially open the building.
HRH then visited Waterhead Academy, a relatively newly built facility bringing together a number of former schools into one building. The Duke was entertained by the school’s ‘Steel Pan Band’ before he was shown around the new school. Mr Quoid, the Principal, introduced members of staff and pupils before HRH unveiled a plaque to officially open the school.
HRH moved on to Mono Pumps in Audenshaw. Following a presentation by the Managing Director, Mr. Steve Valentine, on the history and work of the company The Duke enjoyed a tour of the factory where he met employees and apprentices.
The Duke of Gloucester, as Patron of the Royal Society of St George attended their Charter Night Dinner held at the Monastery, Gorton. His Royal Highness enjoyed a tour of this iconic and restored building where he met some of the architects who undertook the work as well as members of the Monastery staff. Before the Dinner HRH met with the officers of the Society before making a speech at the dinner and reading out ‘Greetings’ from their sister organization in New York City.
It was a delight to welcome HRH The Duchess of Gloucester to Greater Manchester. Her Royal Highness first visited the Dr Kershaw Hospice in Oldham where she enjoyed a tour of the hospice. HRH met a number of patients who were having various therapy sessions as well as meeting a number of people in the Day Patients Area. The Duchess went into the garden to perform the unveiling ceremony to commemorate the 25th Anniversary where all gathered were entertained by the Crompton House School Band.
The Duchess went on to Springhill Hospice in Rochdale. Again she met a number of volunteers and members of staff before beginning a tour of the hospice and its facilities. The Duchess visited a number of patients in their rooms, saw some of the therapy sessions taking place before meeting the day patients who were engaged in a game of indoor bowls – Her Royal Highness joined in! Before leaving the hospice HRH unveiled a plaque to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the hospice.
The Princess Royal came to Bolton on a windy day to open the new Bolton One building. HRH enjoyed a tour of the facilities meeting doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists in the NHS section of the building. In the Leisure Centre HRH met the Olympic Cyclist Jason Kenny who escorted her through the gymnasium. Princess Anne then moved into the University area where she was escorted by the Vice Chancellor, Professor George Holmes. Here she saw ground-breaking equipment to help athletes in the training and recovery from injury. HRH unveiled a plaque and officially open the building.
The Princess returned to the Royal Bolton Maternity Unit that she opened in 1978. The Princess toured the new facilities and met a number of staff, patients and young mothers. HRH met a number of groups of volunteers, supporters, former Midwives who were present when she last visited and some of the children born on the unit before officially opening the unit.
Princess Anne then made a second stop at Hyde College. HRH met the senior members of staff before embarking on a tour of the college where she observed many classes engaged in Science, Mathematics, English, Cooking, Technology lesson and sports activities. HRH then met with the architects before declaring the building open to applause from hundreds of students and staff.
Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, came to Greater Manchester on a glorious day where the sun shone and the crowds came out in their thousands.
The Queen first visited Angel Square, the magnificent Coop glass building on Mill Street, Manchester. She viewed the Atrium watched by hundreds of members of staff who hung over the balconies to get a glimpse of the monarch. After touring a number of the floors to appreciate the story of the development of the Co-operative Movement she returned to the Atrium to officially declare the building open to thunderous applause.
HM went on to visit the new Factory Youth Zone in Harpurhey where she was greeted by the Chair of the Youth Zone, Mrs. Kate Vokes. HM was escorted on tour of the building where she met many of the young people who engaged in Boxing, Gymnasium work, Cooking and other activities before officially opening the building.
After a very busy morning The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a lunch at Gorton Monastery where 200 people were gathered. She arrived to loud cheers from local people and from three local schools who had provided a guard of honour.
His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex, made his first visit to Wigan on a sunny day. He first visited the newly renovated University College and was taken on a tour of the facility by the Principal, Mr Chris Hatherall. HRH met students who were engaged in practical elements of their course and saw the new Vertical Farm before officially opening the building.
He then walked next door to the new Wigan Youth Zone where he met members of staff, donors and supporters before beginning a tour. On the tour HRH met many of the young people enjoying what the building had to offer from artwork to games before officially opening the building before packed audience in the sports hall.
Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex visited the Kingfisher School in Chadderton today. She was introduced to the Head of the school, Mrs. Redmond. The Countess enjoyed a tour of the school where she met all of the children and helped to dress some of the children in Fancy Dress costumes. HRH watched an Assembly before meeting members of the Leadership Team and a number of VIP guests and supporters.
The Countess went on to visit the Royal Oldham Hospital and specifically the new Maternity Wards. She met with members of staff, patients and saw a number of newborn babies. She was taken on a tour of the facilities before unveiling a plaque and officially opening the new Unit.
The Countess visited one of her Patronages, the Hallé Orchestra to view their new rehearsal facilities at St Peter’s Church in Ardwick. HRH listened to part of the rehearsal and met with the conductor and a number of the musicians.
Beechwood Cancer Care Unit
The Countess arrived on a hot sunny day to the deafening enthusiasm of children from Beechwood Primary School. The children asked many questions and all wanted to shake HRH's hand and to make sure that each of t
hem had a story to tell when they went home. The photograph to the right shows the Countess engulfed by the smiling children.
This was the first Royal Visit of the new High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Mrs Christine Lee-Jones, who is pictured with her husband, Dennis, to the left.
The Countess toured the facility meeting members of staff and spending time with many of the patients in the Day Room.
Before Her Royal Highness left the site she willingly dug the first sod of the new extension building which will dramatically increase the Beechwood's ability to help those living with cancer.
The 4th February 2010 was the day on which the Lord-Lieutenant welcomed the first of our Royal visitors for the year.
As will be seen to the right the Royal Train pulled into the sidings of the historic ‘1830 Platform’ of Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry as the Kings Division Band play the National Anthem.
The Lord-Lieutenant welcomed HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on what was to prove to be a very busy and varied day! Prince Charles then spent some time at the Museum guided by the Director Mr Steve Davies. The Prince saw a number of exhibits before being formally welcomed by Professor Lawrie Wood. The Prince of Wales made a major speech and launched the START initiative which encourages businesses to think about the ‘green’ opportunities that are available. Sir Richard Leese, the Leader of the City Council, responded to the speech with warm enthusiasm. The photograph to the left sees His Royal Highness in conversation with Mr Davies.
As Prince Charles toured the Museum The Duchess of Cornwall, escorted by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Michael Oglesby, enjoyed a tour of the set of Coronation Street. The Duchess ‘walked the cobbles’ of the street where she met a number of the cast members before she went into the ‘Rovers’. The Coronation Street Production Staff commissioned a brooch in the form of the three flying ducks that hung on the wall of the legendary Hilda Ogden’s house.
The photograph to the right shows Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster) and Helen Flanagan (Rosie Webster) presenting the Duchess with a Posie with Beverley Callard looking on from the door of the 'Rovers Return'.
Both of the Royal visitors then went to Salford Lads and Girls Club and entered through the iconic doors made famous by the Smiths, a local pop group. Their Royal Highnesses enjoyed a brief history of the building given by Mr Leslie Holmes before they enjoyed a tour of the building and met a great number of members of the club, some of whom had become members over 70 years ago! The visitors also saw exhibitions of ‘the Swedish Drill’ (precision movement to music), boxing and Kick Boxing before The Prince moved to the Concert Hall where he had the opportunity of meeting representatives from many of the Youth organisations around the county.
The images below show Their Royal Highnesses meeting a number of the members of the Club, The Prince of Wales talking with one of the young people, HRH speaking to members of the Kick Boxing group and finally saying good bye to the Mayor and Mayoress of Salford.
After meeting over 90 members of the uniformed Youth Organisations of Greater Manchester, His Royal Highness was welcomed to the Club by the Lord-Lieutenant and invited to make a speech which launched Youth United in the Greater Manchester (Youth United is the Prince’s initiative to bring organisations together and encourage the sharing of talents, skills and premises).
The next venue of the day was a visit to the Rylands University Library on Deansgate. The Royal visitors were welcomed by the University Librarian and Director, Ms Jan Wilkinson and taken on a tour of the building. The Photograph to the right shows the Lord-Lieutenant introducing Dame Nancy Rothwell, The Deputy President and Deputy Vice Chancellor, and Dr Stella Butler, the Deputy University Librarian.
Their Royal Highnesses enjoyed seeing the ancient building and had the opportunity of seeing a number of exhibits that included the fragment of St John’s Gospel and the Prayer Book of Mary, Queen of Scots as well as many other important artefacts.
As can be seen to the right, Their Royal Highnesses were invited to sign the Visitor Book by Ms Jan Wilkinson, the University Librarian and Director, seens on the left, and were presented with a beautiful facsimile of the Beatus as a memento of their visit to the Library.
The visitors then travelled to other venues; the Prince to M & I Materials in Trafford Park and The Duchess to Canon Burrows School in Ashton-under-Lyne.
M & I Materials is a family owned business that produces a number of unique products for the Space and Aeronautical industries amongst others. As can be seen to the right, The Prince was welcomed to the factory by the owner Mr Colin Salt, his wife Ellen and Mr Giles Salt. Colin Salt then gave a brief introduction to the materials produced by the company, and their international customers before embarking on an intensive tour of the factory.
The photograph to the left sees Mr Salt explaining one of the processes to His Royal Highness. HRH saw a great deal of the manufacturing ‘shop floor’ before visiting the main offices where a huge crowd of employees were gathered, some of whom had been with the company from its inception.
Mr Salt formally welcomed HRH and invited him to unveil a plaque to commemorate his visit before The Prince made an informal speech of congratulation to all concerned.
The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Canon Burrows School was a great hit with the children who were also entertained by Mr Taffy Thomas, the first Story-Telling Laureate. The Head Teacher, Mrs Horridge, welcomed HRH to the school before escorting HRH into the school hall where the children welcomed her and entertained The Duchess with dance and song. To the right we can see Mrs Horridge escorting HRH with the Vice Lord-Lieutenant following on. The Duchess unveiled a plaque to mark her visit to the school before officially switching on the PowerPerfector, a device that reduces the cost of energy used by the school. The PowerPerfector was the prize of a environmental National School’s Competition which was won by six Year 6 pupils at the school.
The final visit of the day saw the Prince of Wales visit the Manchester Suite at Old Trafford where he met the Deputy Leader of the world wide Sufi community, Mohammed Hisham Kabbani. Shaykh Hisham introduced His Royal Highness to a number of key figures in the Sufi community both from the United Kingdom and as far afield as Australia.
The photograph to the right sees The Prince in conversation with the Shaykh, Dr Hedieh Mirahmadi, Doug Gray, Shokat Malik and Farzana Dean. HRH was then escorted in the main hall where he enjoyed music and dance from the gathered community before Shaykh Hisham formally welcomed him to the event.
The day ended as HRH left the county on board the Royal Train at Victoria Station.
The Lieutenancy are grateful to David Lake and Alan Towse for use of their photographs
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Princess Alexandra visited the county in May and focussed her visit on the work surrounding issues of impaired sight. HRH opened the new facilities for the Guide Dogs for the Blind in Atherton. This is a purpose built unit where HRH was able to meet with Trustees, staff and a great number of individuals who give voluntary service in the care and preparation of dogs during their 'Puppy Walking' stage right through the skilled training needed before a dog can be introduced to its new owner.
Princess Alexandra toured the facility before unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit.
Bolton Royal Hospital
Later on in the day the Princess visited Bolton Royal Hospital and especifically to visit H2, the Eye Unit. As can be seen in the photograph on the right the Lord-Lieutenant introduced HRH to the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton, the Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris who is also the Chairman of the hospital and to Sean Harriss the Council's CEO.
The Princess visited the Eye Unit where she saw at first hand the ground-breaking work in AMD (age-related Macular Eye Degeneration). HRH met with patients and staff before she presented some certificates to a number of Matrons in recognition of the Exemplar Ward Programme.
Princess Alexandra unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit and signed the Visitors Book before leaving the county.
The photograph to the left shows a young patient, Elizabeth Wallace, eagerly waiting to present the Princess with a posy of flowers.
Photographs are by courtesy of the Bolton Evening News
Leighs Paints, Bolton
HRH The Princess Royal arrived in Bolton on a very sunny afternoon having completed a Royal engagement in the neighbouring county of Lancashire.
The first visit was to Leighs Paints in the heart of Bolton where she was greeted by hundreds of children from the nearby Bolton Parish Church Primary School who were holding a day remembering the Victorian era and both children and teachers alike were dressed in Victorian clothing. The children waved flags as the Princess drove into the company car park.
HRH was greeted by the Chairman, Mr Brian Leigh-Bramwell as can be seen to the right, before being escorted on a tour of the factory. The Princess saw how the specialised paint was produced and made fire-retardent, a vital factor in the safety of the new stadia. After a most enjoyable visit the Princess left to the cheers of the children.
Watsons Steel Structures, Bolton
The sun continued to shine as The Princess arrived at the Watsons site near the Reebok Stadium, Horwich. She was greeted by the Managing Director, Mr Peter Emerson, before hearing a briefing on the company.
HRH then toured the factory meeting employees who, like the visit to Leighs, had been with the same company for in excess of 45 years. The princess talked at length with men and women engaged in welding and the fabrication of huge steel structures destined for many different parts of the world including the Olympic site and St Pancras Railway Station in London.
Before leaving the site HRH met some of the apprentices and bade farewell to the Mayor and Mayoress