King Charles pays a 'flying' visit to Pickering to celebrate 50 years of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Arriving at Pickering Station on the Royal Train, which was pulled by the much-loved steam engine, the King was welcomed by 100s of well-wishers who gathered to see the monarch during his visit to the town.
On the platform at Pickering Station, His Majesty was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mrs Johanna Ropner, who accompanied the King throughout his visit, as he met the custodian of Flying Scotsman, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill and Mrs Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum which is home to the Flying Scotsman.
The King was in good spirits as he exchanged a few words with the children of Gillamoor Primary School who lined the platform to mark his arrival, before he climbed aboard the footplate of the Flying Scotsman, to learn more about life onboard the train.
The monarch was then introduced to staff and volunteers who have helped the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Flying Scotsman reach its significant milestone.
Amongst those were volunteers with over fifty years’ service, apprentices, and a Diesel Fitter.
At the ticket hall, the Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Mr Chris Price, said a few words before King Charles unveiled a plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary.
Mr Price said: “It’s lovely that he’s come to mark the occasion. We have a great team, who have put in an awful lot of effort over the last 50 years to make our railway one of the jewels in Yorkshire’s crown.”
King Charles then departed the railway station, delighting the crowd with an impromptu walkabout.
He then went on to visit some of the local shops on Pickering’s Market Place including Birdgate Chocolatiers, a handmade chocolatier and ice-cream shop that uses locally-sourced ingredients.
Chocolatier Ian Peacock said he was genuinely surprised when he heard that King Charles would be visiting the shop. He said: “The King asked how long we’d been here and we gave him a hamper of bars and boxes, plus a little gift that we made especially for him to pass onto the Queen.”
At Timms Family Butchers, which sells produce from the Duchy of Lancaster, King Charles was greeted by Mrs Carolyn Strickland, mother of shop owner Christopher Timm who was waiting at the family farm to give the monarch a personal tour. The king shook hands with the staff and enquired about the origin of the meat on display.
After meeting shop owners, the Monarch headed to St Peter and St Paul's Church, home to medieval wall paintings believed to have been commissioned around 1450.
On a tour of the Church with its Vicar, Reverend Gareth Atha and Dr Kate Giles Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture and Senior Lecturer at the University of York, His Majesty heard more about the significance of the medieval paintings, before being presented with a book about the paintings themselves.
Before departing, His Majesty signed a visitors’ book to leave a lasting commemoration of his visit.