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What a Beautiful Day to Visit Tavistock
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall could not have picked a better day to visit our beautiful historic town. The sun shone and the crowds came out to welcome the Royal Visitors.
Tavistock looked splendid and the buzz around the Town’s Community Festival of Food and Craft was electric.
The Royal Couple were greeted by the Stannary Brass Band and a welcome announcement from the Town Crier; while children from Tavistock College performed extracts from “Matilda”.
Both The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall immediately chose to say hello to the crowds who had come to see them, before being introduced to their welcoming committee.
This set the tone for what was a wonderful afternoon, where the Royal Couple took their time to stop and talk to many of the people who had come to see them.
Among them lots of children for local primary schools bearing flowers and flags, as well as traders, residents and visitors to the town.
Mrs Anne Johnson, Mayor of Tavistock said: “It was wonderful, they really took their time to stop and talk to as many people as they could. In fact the whole visit was very relaxed as they ambled through the Food Market, the Pannier Market and on into Butchers’ Hall. They looked like they were enjoying it just as much as we were.
“Indeed it has been a fantastic day for Tavistock, lots of people have been really enthused by them being here and it is a very proud moment for us as a Town and for the Town Council.”
Tavistock’s unique offering of independent shops and exceptional, listed historic buildings looked amazing against the bright blue sky as the Royal Couple strolled through the town.
En-route they were met by the Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, who introduced them to the many local dignitaries who were taking part in the event.
This included, the Mayors of both the Town and the Borough Councils, Cllr Anne Johnson and Consort Mr Paul Johnson, and Cllr Tony Leech and Consort Mrs Susan Leech.
Also they were introduced to The High Sherriff Captain Simon Martin, the Chairman of Devon County Council, Cllr John Mathews and consort Mrs Anne Jenkins, the Chief Executive of West Devon Borough Council, Sophie Hosking and the Town Clerk, Carl Hearn.
From here, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall took in the delights of the food markets. Many of the stallholders presented them with gifts and tasters while others provided local produce for a hamper which was presented to the couple before they left.
Stalls on display included: Torview Wines, Summerskills, Tavistock Country Markets
Little Emlett Orchard, Monarch Liqueurs, Kingston Preserves, Cornish Blue, Kingston Preserves, Hive to Home, M & D Flowers, Brinkman Ice Cream, Flapjackery
Venton’s Devon Cyder, Tre, Pol & Pen, Devon Chilliman, and Landmark Speciality Coffee.
Cllr Tony Leech Mayor of West Devon Borough Council said: “It is fantastic for Tavistock, fantastic for the Borough, and for the children who came today, this will be something that they never forget. I remember when I was about 4 or 5 and the Queen Mother came to Suffolk where I lived and I can still see it now – this will be something that the children here today will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Throughout the event many schools and community groups from Tavistock were putting on a performance including, St Peters Choir (Tavistock Church Schools Federation), Tavistock College, Key Stage 1 children from Tavistock Primary School, Key Stage 6 pupils from Whitchurch Primary School, Tavy Tars, the Tavistock Youth Café Zephyr Band and the Shot in the Dark disco.
Tony Welsh, President of Tavistock Lions, who partnered with the Town and Borough Councils on the event said: “We were really impressed with the visit, it was a real honour and a privilege and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.”
From the square, guided by the Town Hall Events Manager, Becky Hadfield, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall toured the very special Pannier Market, with its eclectic mix of stallholders.
But no trip to Tavistock would be complete without also taking in some of the independent shops. The Royal Couple were delighted to stroll into some of them outside the Pannier Market, including Howells Butchers’, Country Cheeses and the Olive Shop, before entering the newly refurbished Butchers’ Hall.
Butchers’ Hall looked magnificent following the £2.2 million Town Centre regeneration and restoration scheme which had been completed on it and another 7 properties in partnership with the Town Council , and with funding from the National Lottery Scheme. Before going in Prince Charles met the team leading on the restoration works.
Inside the Royal couple spoke to local community groups and arts and craft traders, who again delighted them with their produce and local knowledge.
They included: Tavistock Scrapstore, Tavistock Library, Dartmoor Search & Rescue, Tavistock Community Sensory Garden, Tavistock Area Support Services, The Lions Club of Tavistock, Devon Hedge Group, Tavistock Rotary Club, Tavistock Heritage Trust, Tavistock Youth Café, Led by Dreams, Splitz, Tavistock Business Improvement District, TDCC, Ink & Clay, Wagner Silver, Essential Creams, The Dirty Old Goat Soap Co, Mico Wool Spinning, Leyford Studio, Basket Maker , Woodturning , Exeter Woodcarvers.
Finally, Sophie Hosking and Cllr Anne Johnson presented The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall with a bouquet and a splendid hamper of local goodies from traders including a special cake made by Dotty of Dot Teas on behalf of the Traders, for the Duchess’ birthday.
Sophie Hosking, Chief Executive of West Devon Borough Council and Carl Hearn, Clerk of Tavistock Town Council would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came along and made this event so special. They said: “From the people who gave their time to help us control the crowds and the traffic, to the stall holders, communities and organisations from across the Borough, who put on a wonderful display and the public who waved their flags. Thank you so much, you really showed Tavistock and West Devon at its best today and we are all incredibly proud.”