Memories rekindled of huge crowds of smiling people who welcomed the Queen to Ironbridge

Leaders of a a group of museums in Shropshire have paid tribute to the Queen's “remarkable legacy” as they prepare to close as a mark of respect for Monday's state funeral.

Picture from the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust
Picture from the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust

The Queen visited the Iron Bridge Tollhouse in 2003, accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, where the couple showed great interest in the work carried out across the The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust's sites.

Nick Ralls, chief executive of The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said: “We join with the country, the Commonwealth and the people of the world in mourning the passing of the Queen and in sending our condolences to our new King and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Picture from the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust

The trust has also published some evocative pictures of the Queen's visit, including the huge crowds of smiling people who turned out to cheer and welcome the Royal couple.

All of the museum sites across the Ironbridge Gorge will be closed on Monday and will reopen as normal on Tuesday.

The Queen's visit, on July 10, 2003, marked the 40th anniversary since the creation of Dawley New Town, which would later become Telford.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the tour also took in Craven Arms, Much Wenlock and Ludlow.

Excited cheers greeted the monarch and her consort as their train rolled into Telford station just before 10am.

The Queen performed the official reopening of Telford International Centre following a £9 million revamp.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Edinburgh was enjoying a spot of demolition work – sounding an airhorn to mark the start of a bulldozing operation of rundown flats on the Woodside estate.

The couple were then reunited in Ironbridge where they were being shown around the gorge. Then it was off to Much Wenlock where displays of sporting activities demonstrated how the small town, led by William Penny Brookes, was responsible for the rebirth of the Olympic movement in the 19th century.

After lunch at Secret Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms, the royal couple were off to Ludlow to open the town’s library and museum resource centre, tour the food market and see a 15-minute production of The Merchant of Venice and A Winter’s Tale at Ludlow Castle.

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