Pictures: Princess Anne visits North Devon

Princess Anne visits Clovelly. Picture by Graham Hobbs. Princess Anne visits Clovelly. Picture by Graham Hobbs.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
4:11 PM

The Princess Royal calls in at Clovelly, Wings South West and Forches in Barnstaple.

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Princess Anne receives a posy from four-year-old Alisha Tatton, watched by mum Zoe Blythe and Dr Paul Bowser at Wings South West in Abbotsham. Picture by Brian SaundersPrincess Anne receives a posy from four-year-old Alisha Tatton, watched by mum Zoe Blythe and Dr Paul Bowser at Wings South West in Abbotsham. Picture by Brian Saunders

CROWDS turned out this morning (Tuesday) to welcome Princess Anne to North Devon as she carried out a busy schedule of engagements in the region.

First stop for HRH The Princess Royal was Clovelly, where she officially opened the lovingly restored Jubilee Fountain near the Visitor Centre, which commemorates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

In what was a unique occasion, she is thought to be the first member of the Royal Family to walk down Clovelly’s famous cobbled ‘Upalong Downalong’ high street and met some of the residents, many of whose families have lived in the village for generations.

The princess also unveiled a plaque in the village marking the 175th anniversary of The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society, of which she is patron.

Princess Anne met pupils from Kings;ey School during her visit of ClovellyPrincess Anne met pupils from Kings;ey School during her visit of Clovelly

She spoke to descendants of the 21 men who lost their lives when a storm claimed nine fishing vessels off the village in 1838 and prompted the formation of the society. A specially written song by Cornish shanty singers Stamp and Go called Bideford Bay was performed for the visit.

Princess Anne then visited Wings South West at its Lendon Barn Centre in Abbotsham and given a guided tour of the charity project, which provides training and courses for young people not in work or education.

She heard about the charity’s plans for its proposed new £6million Bridge Centre in Bideford, a youth, sports, enterprise and community centre, then unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit.

A Royal ‘party in the park’ is just about to begin in Barnstaple, as HRH visits Forches to meet residents, North Devon Homes staff and officially open the new community play park created as part of the estate’s £20million regeneration.

Princess Anne meets Clovelly's famous donkeys. Picture: Clovelly Estate and SMSPrincess Anne meets Clovelly's famous donkeys. Picture: Clovelly Estate and SMS

“We are delighted The Princess Royal is to open the play area at Forches,” said NDH chief executive Martin Gimber before the visit.

“The new park is the centre-piece of a five-year regeneration project where North Devon Home and the Forches community have worked together to create a great place to live.”

The visit will focus on work with young people as part of the NDH Starfish Project, funded by The Big Lottery, who will have the opportunity to meet The Princess Royal.

She is also expected to visit residents in their new homes to find out how Forches has changed and the impact the regeneration has had.

The Princess Royal walks down Clovelly's famous cobbles with the Hon John Rous Clovelly, High Sheffif of Devon. Picture: Clovelly Estate and SMSThe Princess Royal walks down Clovelly's famous cobbles with the Hon John Rous Clovelly, High Sheffif of Devon. Picture: Clovelly Estate and SMS

It is set to end with the opening of the new community play park. The area has been named Eden Park by Ava Oakley, a pupil at Forches Cross School who won a ‘Name the Park’ competition.

* SEND us your pictures from Princess Anne’s North Devon visit today and we’ll add them to our online galleries. Email newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk

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