The Duke of Gloucester spent the day in Bridgnorth in Shropshire on Thursday 17th October, for a visit that was very train orientated! Prince Richard carried out three different visits over the course of his visit, starting at Severn Valley Railway and ending at the town’s historic cliff railway.
The day started off with a warning that the Royal visitor may be late, due to delays at the London train station from which he was travelling to the town. Luckily, The Duke wasn’t too late – only 10 minutes behind schedule. It would seem that not even for royalty do the trains run on time…
Upon arrival at Severn Valley Railway, The Duke of Gloucester departed from his train and made his way to the new restaurant at the station. Surrounded by guests, staff and those who had worked on the transformation of the restaurant, he officially declared it open.
It was then off to the historic town hall building, only a short distance away from the station, where the Duke heard from staff about the important place that the town hall has held in the lives of so many people throughout its long history. Also at the town hall to meet The Queen’s cousin, were many representatives from local organisations, they included: League of Friends, scout groups, football clubs and girl guides.
Prince Richard spoke with them all, learning more about the market town of Bridgnorth, which he recalled visiting many years ago. He seemed keen to know more about the town and each organisation he met, and he admired them and the many activities they carry out within the community and also the challenges that they were trying to overcome.
The last stop of the day saw the Duke return to trains (this time of a slightly different kind), as he took a ride on Bridgnorth Cliff Railway. The railway is one of the steepest in the UK, with a sign inside of the station itself saying that it is both the steepest and shortest railway in the whole of the country. It was built as an alternative method of traveling between the two parts of Bridgnorth, High Town and Low Town, than climbing or descending the 200 steps. The Duke admired the building during a tour before he traveled the railway on his own, as another carriage had to return to the station to collect the reporters which were following him around for the day.
And so a very successful visit to Bridgnorth, with high tea at all three locations for the Royal visitor and everyone else, came to an end. Prince Richard left on his way back to London, where he was heading towards Heathrow Airport. On Thursday evening he took a flight to Berlin for business. Thankfully, the flight was on time!