Magnificent occasion enjoyed by the whole county

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Alwick town centre to start their walkabout.''Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in Alnwick town centre.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Alwick town centre to start their walkabout.''Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in Alnwick town centre.

PUTTING a smile on people’s faces and creating special moments that will last a lifetime, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to Alnwick will be long remembered. Here are a few comments from those who attended the events.

Sir Alan Beith, Lib Dem MP, said: “It was a great day and wonderful to see so many people enjoying the occasion and in particular the recognition of so many carers for the marvellous work they do. It was also great to have the official opening of the youth hostel and now both Alnwick and Berwick will be attracting extra visitors through the hostels.”

Stuart Birkett, Deputy Lieutenant of the county and managing director of Northeast Press, publishers of the Northumberland Gazette, said: “The visit of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh was a delight, with both taking time to chat to the guests and put everyone at ease.

“While I didn’t get a chance to go into the town, the pictures in the Northumberland Gazette last week showed an amazing response from the Alnwick public who literally lined the streets.

“I thought our coverage in the Gazette last week was outstanding and I would like to thank all my colleagues who worked much harder than I did during the day of the visit to complete the paper against a very tight deadline for press in the evening – that we almost hit!

“At a time of economic uncertainty, the Queen’s visit has certainly put a smile on ‘Northumberland’s face’ and given Alnwick a real lift. Let’s hope it’s not 106 years before a monarch returns.”

Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle, said: “It was a magnificent day for Alnwick and I was taken aback by the strength of the reception local people gave the Queen. We were extremely honoured to have her open the new youth hostel, while the gesture by the Duchess of Northumberland to the county’s carers was wonderful.”

Bobby Dodds, invited for his work with Alnwick and District Sports Council, said: “I didn’t get a personal invitation to speak to the Queen but it was a very memorable occasion just to be as close as I was to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

“I did enjoy it immensly, it was an honour to be there in the first place.

“The only disappointing thing was the weather in the morning but all in all it was a very enjoyable day.”

Tom Pattinson, a volunteer at The Alnwick Garden, said: “To get the Queen to Alnwick for a Royal garden party has got to be a first.

“I thought it was beautifully arranged, everything went like clockwork. Meeting the Queen was really special. She gave such good eye contact and made you feel like you were the only person that mattered. We had a little private conversation and that is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

“The whole day was so beautifully organised and everyone seems to have really enjoyed it.”

Foster carer Philippa Gibb-Kirk, who was invited to the event, said: “Considering I only spent about 30 seconds with the Queen, it was incredible how the excitement lasted the whole day. It is an experience I will never forget and my mum was really proud. I have always enjoyed being a carer and working with some great children, but it was lovely to have that recognised in such a way.”