Prince samples towns’s delights

Prince Charles during his visit to the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale where he toured the market and loacl shops and visited St Mary's church.
Prince Charles during his visit to the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale where he toured the market and loacl shops and visited St Mary's church.

It was party time in Kirkby Lonsdale when Prince Charles visited last Thursday.

Hundreds of people filled the bustling market square and surrounding streets in the hope of meeting the Prince of Wales.

And they weren’t disappointed.

The prince charmed everyone he met and spent much longer than intended on his tour of the town.

On his walk through the streets the prince sampled real ale from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, spoke to schoolchildren, received gifts from shopkeepers, met market traders, spoke with dignitaries, listened to brass bands and passed the time of day with countless locals.

Surrounded by a sea of cameras and phones, the prince’s first port of call was the town’s market square which has seen a renaissance in recent months.

Town councillor, Donald Carmichael, was one of the first to welcome the prince.

He said: “Prince Charles asked if the market was thriving and I explained that the town council has taken it over because it had been on its last legs.

“His recognition of the work we are doing here has given us a huge boost.”

Kirkby Lonsdale residents, Mike Marczynski and Mel Mackie, said they had also told the prince that the market was doing well. Mr Mackie said: “We always hear about his visits to places down south.

“It’s brilliant that he has come here.

“It’s put Kirkby Lonsdale on the map.”

Making his way through the throng, the prince popped into the Love The Lune community shop and information centre.

Community Interest Company directors, Judith Manifold and Liz Saunders, said the prince was “very natural” and that he liked the tea towels on sale in the shop.

Judith said the prince’s visit would give the town a lift and everyone was delighted that he had shown such a strong interest in the market.

She said: “We’ve done a lot of work on the market. We’ve turned it around.

“The fact he’s visiting now is wonderful because it’s a year since we took over the market.

“It has been a great success.”

The prince chatted with many market traders including Alan Stephenson and Stuart and Richard Taylor from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery.

They showed him how to pull a pint and he tried a glass of Jubilee Stout, describing it as “excellent”. Alex Roberts and Alison Walsh, from Lancaster, turned out to catch a glimpse of the Prince, who stopped to chat to them.

“He asked us about our hats.” said Alison.

“He was lovely. He seemed really sincere.

“We were just a bit over-awed over by it all really.”

Mrs Andrea Day from St Mary’s Primary School said the prince had told her the children looked a little cold and that he liked their Easter-themed outfits.

One of the pupils, who shook hands with the prince, said he would never wash his hand again.

Further along the street at the Sun Inn the prince spoke to manager Mark Fuller.

Mr Fuller said: “He told me he’d have liked to drop in for a quick nip. It’s fantastic that he’s come here.

“There is a real buzz around the town. He has been very generous with his time.”

At St Mary’s Church the prince met the rector, the Rev Richard Snow, and the founder of the Friends of St Mary’s, Mrs Eileen Flight.

He presented certificates to two local volunteers who are retiring, who have helped to maintain the church grounds for the past 16 years.

The prince also visited Kitridding Farm at Lupton just off Junction 35 of the M6 in Lancashire and enjoyed a Land Rover demonstration.