Royal visitor takes a look round Blyth

The Duke of Gloucester with Major Derek Fairbairn (Rtd), the Mayor of Blyth, Coun Adrian Cartie, and the town clerk Joe Hughes.
The Duke of Gloucester with Major Derek Fairbairn (Rtd), the Mayor of Blyth, Coun Adrian Cartie, and the town clerk Joe Hughes.

Blyth welcomed a Royal visitor last week.

The Duke of Gloucester was in town to visit Ridley Park and Blyth Battery.

The Duke meets the teams responsible for the restoration of the war memorial.

The Duke meets the teams responsible for the restoration of the war memorial.

The Duke arrived by helicopter with the Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, the Duchess of Northumberland.

He was welcomed to Ridley Park by Fiona Gibson, chairman of The Friends of Ridley Park, and met Jimmy Reith, who oversees work in the park, as well as park keepers and other Friends of the park.

He saw the tree trail, the bird screen and met students from Blyth Academy, who showed him the designs for the planned new gates for the park.

He also met the teams responsible for the restoration of the war memorial, ex-servicemen and women and the Mayor of Blyth, Coun Adrian Cartie.

Catherine Skelton and Hanna Marshall, from Blyth Academy, show the designs for the new entrance to Ridley Park.

Catherine Skelton and Hanna Marshall, from Blyth Academy, show the designs for the new entrance to Ridley Park.

Members of the Elswick All Arms Association provided a guard of honour.

The war memorial, which commemorates those from the town who lost their lives in the Boer War, First World War, Second World War and recent conflicts, has been renovated.

Work included underpinning the monument with steel and concrete to prevent it falling over, and rebuilding and widening the steps leading up to it. A disabled access ramp, complete with handrail, also leads up to the dais. The former gravel surround has been removed and re-flagged with granite, and in the middle a specially made All Arms Association badge has been installed.

The Duke unveiled a plaque at the restored memorial.

The Duke takes a closer look at one of the Battery exhibits.

The Duke takes a closer look at one of the Battery exhibits.

The Duke also visited Blyth Battery, where he met the Mayor of Blyth, Deputy Mayor Kath Nesbit, Colin Durward, chairman of Blyth Battery, and Battery secretary Lindsay Durward.

The military and local heritage museum boasts First and Second World War coastal defence buildings and displays exhibits (many donated by local people) in several themed rooms.

Members of the Elswick All Arms Association provide a guard of honour.

Members of the Elswick All Arms Association provide a guard of honour.

The Duke of Gloucester with Blyth Battery chairman Colin Durward. Picture by Ron Dobson

The Duke of Gloucester with Blyth Battery chairman Colin Durward. Picture by Ron Dobson