Belfast Telegraph

Prince Charles and Camilla enjoy a walk in the Co Tyrone sunshine

The Prince of Wales has made his last visit to Northern Ireland before he becomes a grandfather — and enjoyed the sun in Tyrone.

On a second day of engagements, Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the historical village of Caledon.

The royals visited Mill Street Cottage where they met owners Denver and Michelle Irvine.

This is one of the first projects to be completed by a regeneration scheme after lying idle since the early 1970s.

The terraced two-storey stone cottage, which was constructed around 1850 to house mill workers and their families, received Grade B1 listing in 1983 and is now the pride of the village.

Charles and Camilla also visited the Beam Engine and Engine House, which dates from the early 1830s and once powered a flour mill and subsequently a woollen mill, and are all that remain of a once-massive mill complex.

This engine is one of only eight beam engines to survive in Ireland, a rare example of 19th century steam engine technology. The Prince unveiled a plaque to officially open the complex.

The royal couple then made the short journey to the centrepiece of the village – the courthouse and clock tower.

At the courthouse they had the opportunity to meet children and teachers from St Joseph’s and Churchill primary schools, as well as representatives of the Blackwater Regional Partnership, South Tyrone Historical Group, local church leaders and members of the Women’s Institute.

During a walkabout, the couple popped into the local butcher’s.

“We might never see them again. It was great to see them. A great day for the village,” said butcher Robert Gillanders.

Later in the village of Moy, the royal couple had the opportunity to meet representatives of YouthAction Northern Ireland and hear about the work that its local volunteers undertake to reach out to young people and involve them in community life.

Charles even signed a mural for the children before being treated to a display of Irish dancing.

Dancer Chloe Neal said: I was really nervous in case I forgot steps or anything.

“I was going over and over and over them in my head.

“But when I started, I just got into it.”

At St James Church of Ireland, Belfast teenager Megan McBride treated the royal couple to a solo musical performance.

“They were lovely, they were really, really, really nice and they were just so conversational.

“They shook your hand and stuff and just acted like you were one of their friends,” said the 19-year-old.

“It was really lovely just to be so complimented by the Prince,” she added.

Rector Aonghus Mayes said: “In my wildest expectations, I never thought that we would have a day like this.”

He added: “And it was also great that so many representatives from the whole communtiy could be here.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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