Friday, 27 April 2012

Royalty in Armagh

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, on the second day of engagements, attended Irwin’s Bakery, Portadown, 100th Birthday Celebrations.

Upon arrival TRH were greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, the Earl of Caledon.

Throughout the day TRH were accompanied by the Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State, NIO.

2012 marks the centenary of the Irwin Family business, now in its third generation, based in Portadown and employing approximately 450 staff. The business has grown from its days of horse and cart delivery to now exporting branded products across the UK and Ireland with major supermarkets.

It has grown 300% in the last 15 years and is in operation 24 hours a day, only ceasing production on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.

Moving inside to the Training Room and accompanied by Brian Irwin, Chairman, Irwin’s Bakery and Niall Irwin, Technical Director, Irwin’s Bakery, TRH  met company directors and their spouses.

Mr Brian Irwin spoke a few words of thanks before inviting HRH The Prince of Wales to unveil a plaque to commemorate the visit to the Bakery and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to cut a cake to celebrate the Bakery’s Centenary.

Garth King, a bakery operative, was invited to present TRH with the gift of a hamper of Irwin’s produce. TRH signed the visitors book before departing for the next engagement.

On the second engagement of the day HRH The Prince of Wales visited Armagh Gaol. Upon arrival HRH was greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, Lord Caledon.

Armagh Gaol dates back to between 1780 and 1819 and is an integral part of Armagh’s history – historically, politically, socially, architecturally and aesthetically. It ceased to exist as a prison in 1984.

Armagh City and District Council is currently promoting a major urban regeneration project involving the old Armagh Gaol.

The Council has partnered with a private property development company which previously completed, in partnership with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, a very successful similar project in the old Gaol in Oxford.

Inside the Gaol HRH heard an outline of the building’s history from John Briggs, Chief Executive, Armagh City and District Council.

Viewing a scale model of the regeneration project, Prince Charles heard an overview of the project from Trevor Osborne of the developer, the Osborne Group. Moving on HRH viewed the East wing, including three of the cells which will be developed into an en-suite bedroom.

Prior to Farewells and departure for the next engagement HRH had a brief discussion on the development proposals.

On the final engagement of the two day visit, HRH The Prince of Wales attended the 2012 Built Heritage Conference in the Armagh Planetarium. Upon arrival HRH was greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, Lord Caledon.

In the reception lobby Prince Charles heard an overview of the morning’s Conference session from John McMillen, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and viewed the trophies for the Built Heritage Schools’ Competition.

Later, in the Main Hall, The Prince of Wales addressed the Conference and Christopher Balmer presented HRH with a gift of a “boot scraper” which he designed and manufactured.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall attended the Big Jubilee Lunch at the Palace Demesne, Armagh.

Upon arrival HRH was greeted by The Deputy Lieutenant of County Armagh, Mrs Jill Armstrong DL, and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mealla Campbell.

The Big lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project – encouraging as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours once a year. In 2012 the event will support The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Sunday 3rd June and will be called The Big Jubilee Lunch.

HRH is Patron of The Big Jubilee Lunch.

Accompanied by the Deputy Mayor, HRH alighted a horse-drawn carriage for the short journey to the Palace.

After a busy schedule, Her Royal Highness met Councillor Freda Donnelly, Mayor, Armagh City and District Council who said a few words of welcome before presenting HRH with a gift of a hamper of local produce and invited HRH to plant a native oak tree to celebrate the award of Lord Mayor Status to the City of Armagh.

During the tree planting ceremony singing was provided by The Saints and Scholars Integrated Primary School Choir.

Proceeding inside the Palace, HRH met a number of Council staff in the Armstrong Room  and was presented with a gift of a leather bound book by the Mayor, entitled “ Saint Patrick’s City – The Story of Armagh” by Alf McCreary and was invited to sign the visitors’ book prior to departure.


The Big Lunch NI said...

A lovely memory of Armagh's Big Jubilee Lunch is available on The Big Lunch You Tube channel

Anonymous said...

The Film of The Big Jubilee Lunch in Armagh attended by patron of The Big Jubilee Lunch - The Duchess of Cornwall