The Deputy Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon has described yesterday’s Royal visit to Dromore as “a great day” for the town.
Hundreds of people of all ages crowded into the town square on Wednesday morning (May 10) to greet the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, who stopped off in Dromore as part of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland.
Deputy Mayor Paul Greenfield said it had been “a great honour” for himself and his wife Fiona to welcome Prince Charles and Camilla to the town.
“The town was absolutely buzzing,” he said. “It was great to see the people of Dromore out in such numbers. There was a fantastic buzz about the place before they even arrived.
“Right round the square was lined both sides the whole way round with people of all ages, from nursery school kids, primary school pupils and children from the High School right through to folk from local residential homes, so I think they were really impressed with the vast range of people that came out to meet them.”
The Banbridge representative accompanied the Royal couple on a walkabout around the town centre, during which they stopped and chatted with well-wishers and sampled produce offered by local traders.
The couple stopped at Graham’s to sample their famous ice-cream, and also enjoyed trying wheaten bread and ham from Quail’s butchers.
The Prince of Wales stopped to admire the vintage tractor owned by Bill Forsthye of the Harry Ferguson Celebration Committee, and also commended local charity Hope and Soul for recycling waste supermarket stock into meals for local people in need.
As they left, the Voices Of Recovery choir burst into a rendition of Jailhouse Rock, much to the couple’s delight.
One local lady told the Duchess they share a birthday (July 17, 1947) and joked that they were twins. Describing Camilla as “beautiful”, she added that she was also “delighted to have met the future king”.
Cllr Greenfield said the Duke and Duchess had shown “great interest” in all the people they met during their visit.
“It was supposed to be about a 20-minute visit, but they were there maybe 40 or 45 minutes and were in no rush to get away. The council had the place looking really well, there were street entertainers and the crowd was in great form and the sun was shining as well, so it was a great day for Dromore.
“It went really, really well. I think the whole of Dromore benefitted from it,” he added.
As part of the visit, the Duchess was welcomed to Dromore Central Primary where she performed the official opening of the new school building.
She toured the school, meeting staff and talking to many pupils about their work. Her passion for the development of literacy skills in children was evident, particularly when she visited the library and spoke with P7 pupils about their involvement in the Blue Peter Book Awards 2017 project.
Principal Linda Allen thanked the Duchess on behalf of the entire community for the interest she showed in the pupils and for her presence with them on such a landmark occasion.
The Duchess addressed the pupils, staff and guests, commenting on the excellent behaviour of the children and the wonderful atmosphere in the school.
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