In words and pictures: Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall visit Wisbech
- Credit: HARRY RUTTER
Prince Charles spent time learning about the work of some of Wisbech’s most important voluntary groups, charities and local projects during his royal visit to the town.
The Prince arrived at St Peter and St Paul church in Wisbech along with the Duchess of Cornwall in a black Audi (in Ely earlier they had arrived in a Bentley) and received cheers and applause from the hundreds who turned out to greet them.
Children from the local schools turned out in their numbers armed with Union Jack flags and got the opportunity to meet the pair.
Prince Charles paid a visit to the church to learn about some of the area’s key voluntary organisations, charities and projects, while the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Wisbech and Fenland museum.
The Prince was taken around the church, where the 20 or more groups had all set up stalls and information boards detailing their work.
He was first introduced to those involved in the Wisbech 2020 project, a collaborative effort for a garden town to provide regeneration to Wisbech.
Russell Beal, programme manager of Wisbech 2020, and Gary Garford corporate director of Fenland District Council met with the Prince to talk about the proposals for the town’s future.
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Mr Beal said: “It’s not about creating a new town; it’s about regenerating the existing town. We are absolutely delighted that His Royal Highness could come today.
Mr Garford added: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for Prince Charles to take an interest in a market town like Wisbech.”
Prince Charles walked slowly around the church, taking the time to speak to people from every group or organisation about what they are doing, learning about the Wisbech Society, Wisbech High Street project and the Wisbech and Fenland Museum before discussing the Cambs 876 Remembered project with its members.
The Cambs 876 Remembered project aims to honour all of those in The Cambridgeshire Regiment who died during the First World War by lying personalised crossed with poppies on at their memorials.
Roger Hutchcraft, navigator when the group travels, said: “It’s always nice to have our work recognised by someone important. Anything that can highlight remembrance is welcome.
“I was able to put a badge on his lapel. We have travelled an accumulated total of 176,407 miles and have 15 soldiers left to honour.”
Music was played by an orchestra as the Prince of Wales made his way around the church floor, speaking to groups such as Operation Pheasant, the Ferry Project and Citizen’s Advice Rural Cambs.
Oonagh Tucker of Citizen’s Advice said: “He asked us about the people we help. He was especially interested in the older people and the older generation.
“Olive Saddington, our oldest volunteer at 94 is here and she got out her Second World War medal to show him.”
His Royal Highness also spoke with those involved with Cambridgeshire Acre, a group aiming to encourage rural development and support local business whilst giving local people a say on decisions made.
Kieran Carr of Cambridgeshire Acre said: “We adopt a bottom up approach and give people a say in decisions. This is something that Prince Charles does agree with.”
The Prince made his way to the exit, speaking with education organisations and the Prince’s Trust among others before his departure.
Schoolchildren lined outside the doors in the rain to wave their flags and sing the national anthem as Prince Charles left Wisbech.