Prince Charles opens part of restored Stroud canal & brands plaque at Timberpride

The Prince of Wales was in Stroud yesterday, where he officially opened the first phase of the restored canal. After his visit to Stroud, Charles then travelled to Tetbury to visit Timberpride in his role as president of The Prince’s Trust.

Charles’ first engagement of the day was in Stroud, where the canal is undergoing restoration in a project led by the Stroud District Council; The Princess Royal visited back in 2012. The council has been assisted in its efforts by various organisations, including the Cotswold Canal Trust and Gloucestershire County Council.

The Queen’s eldest son is the patron of the Canal and River Trust, a charity which is charged with the protection of over 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales.; Prince Charles is also a long-time supporter of the Cotswold Canals Project, which partners with the Trust, on various projects. He has previously visited Blunder Lock and the Sapperton Tunnel in conjunction with these organisations.

Today, The Prince of Wales was tasked with officially opening the Upper Wallbridge Lock. Charles was given the chance to travel on a boat between the Upper Lock and the Wallbridge Lower Lock, where he cut a ribbon to allow the boat to enter the lock chamber, officially opening the restored part of the canal.

The future King spoke with the large crowd who had gathered along the canal bank to catch a glimpse of the royal visitor.

Charles also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the restoration of that part of the canal, before attending a reception along with members of the Cotswold Canal Trust, volunteers and members of the local community.

Prince Charles then travelled to Tetbury to visit Timberpride, which produces various oak products, such as flooring and beams. The Prince was there in his role as president of The Prince’s Trust, after receiving a formal invitation from the business’ co-founder, Alec Golesworthy. Alec and his wife Victoria were able to set-up Timberpride as a result of a £2,500 initial loan from the Prince’s Trust. Alec then wrote to the Prince to invite him to visit the sawmill and shop on the 20th anniversary of receiving this loan.

Prince Charles,The Prince of Wales, President of The Prince’s Trust, visits Timberpride, a specialist, sustainable oak merchant which was set up with a loan from the charity in 1995 and has since grown into an established business employing ten people. Picture by i-Images / Pool

During this visit, Charles was taken on a tour of the sawmill and office by the couple, where he saw various stages of the timber process. The heir to the throne saw an oak log being prepared with a hand saw, visited the business’ biomass boiler and learnt about the importance of the drying process.

Charles was also able to stamp an oak-leaf symbol on the piece of timber which had been commissioned as the plaque to mark the official visit; the Prince unveiled this plaque before departing.

Alec and Victoria also presented their royal guest with a specially engraved plaque, which read: “To His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in gratitude for the support of the Princes Youth Business Trust from August 1993.”

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