Duke of Gloucester visits Bridgnorth - in pictures

Our Royal day began with a warning that the guest was likely to be late due to delays at a London station.

Duke of Gloucester visits Bridgnorth - in pictures

In the event, His Royal Highness was only 10 minutes behind time.

And after a successful three-stop visit to Bridgnorth – which he recalled visiting many years ago – Prince Richard of Gloucester left for the rest of his fast moving day with a full 10 minutes to spare and many happy folk on his visitor list left behind.

One satisfied customer then.

Unknown to most of them, His Royal Highness was then heading for Heathrow and an evening business flight to Berlin.

In between times, he had been on the footplate and wreathed in real smoke as a clean-as-a-whistle engine took him down the track.

He loved it.

And he was just as keen on the story behind the Severn Valley Railway where he opened the rather splendid new restaurant to delighted guests – especially those who had worked so hard with the transformation.

While all enjoyed the enthusiasm of His Royal Highness as he took a ride on Bridgnorth Cliff Railway before the very special mode of transport came back to its highline base for the rest of us!

That rounded off a lovely few hours. In between, the many people who were privileged to be on the afternoon’s guest list, all spoke of the railway’s successes and Shelagh Paterson, the Charitable Trust Director of Development, also praised the generosity not just of volunteers and donations as well as other money raising efforts but the way everyone gelled together as a family.

While after young Max Green buckled down to years as a very happy apprentice, along with others in his position, is now a well trained Fitter Machinist and absolutely loves his job.

So do young people like Dean Parkin and Ryan Parsons who moved respectively from Cornwall and Dorset to work at this very special place.

And so from the initial gathering at Severn Valley railway to the next stop a couple of streets away when the old, historic and also story-telling town hall proved an absorbing draw for so many as the Duke heard from staff of its place in so many lives down so many years.

The many organisations included representatives from the hospital League of Friends, Scout Groups, Football clubs, Girl Guides and other sporting groups, underlined the beating heart of so much going on in this lovely market town and which help hold it all together. The Duke of Gloucester clearly thought the same and was keen to know about and admire so many activities and challenges which are being so well-met.

And all of us, including our royal visitor, had a particular treat available for keen tasters - superb high tea at each of the three locations.

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