People’s Prince finds time for a swift half

During a busy afternoon meeting local businesses and volunteers in Seahouses, the Prince of Wales still found time for a beer and some kippers.

He was taken on a tour of the lifeboat station and the harbour, meeting business owners, National Trust staff from the Farnes and the Northumberland Coast Young Rangers among others.

Crowds filled the harbour and the surrounding streets trying to get a handshake or a snapshot, and Prince Charles was only too happy to oblige.

One of those he met at the lifeboat station was Carolyn McLaughlin, whose fund-raising had paid for the inshore lifeboat in 2008. She had raised the money in memory of her first husband who died at sea.

“It’s a great honour and I’m thrilled to bits that he’s come to Seahouses to acknowledge what the lifeboat crew do as volunteers,” she said.

“He said it was a very practical way of commemorating someone’s memory.”

He also met the owner of Pinnacles fish and chip shop, Mike Armstrong.

Mike had written to Clarence House the previous week inviting Prince Charles to come and taste his food, and despite it being too late to organise a visit, he was asked to meet the Prince.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” Mike said. “The guy works so hard. The whole thing is down to a letter on Friday and then meeting him on Tuesday.

“This is the guy being in touch with his people.”

Following his harbour tour, the Prince slipped into the Olde Ship where he ordered a half of Guinness.

Upon leaving the bar, he told the assembled drinkers, ‘don’t mind me, I’m off to the kippers’, as he made his way on to Swallow Fish smokehouse.

Landlord Alan Glen, whose family has owned the pub for 102 years, said: “It’s a memorable occasion for us all. I won’t be able to sleep tonight.”

He presented Prince Charles with a bottle of centenarary whisky that the pub had had produced specially two years ago.

“Fortunately we still had a bottle left,” he added.

Harbour master Philip Brabban showed the Prince around the harbour.

“It’s a great honour for the harbour, the village and myself, I was delighted to have the privilege to guide him around,” he said.