Prince Philip: Cloughton's former blacksmith Alan Readman recalls royal visits and meeting the Duke

A retired Scarborough blacksmith who met Prince Philip several times has paid tribute to the remarkable royal.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 10:57 am
Updated Sunday, 11th April 2021, 10:58 am

Alan Readman worked in Cloughton, part of the Duchy of Lancaster Estate owned by the Queen.

“He was a typical Englishman, without a doubt,” said Mr Readman.

“He was so natural and easy to speak to.

Alan Readman, pictured in 2010.

“He and the Queen were a great partnership.”

Mr Readman said he was “very sad” to hear of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, aged 99, on Friday.

“All of a sudden, your memories come to life in your mind’s eye,” he said.

The 76-year-old was one of only a dozen people chosen to meet the royal couple at a Buckingham Palace garden party in 2005.

Damian Readman gives a horse-shoeing demonstration to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh outside the Cloughton forge in 2010.

He recalled how he, his brother Mick and their wives Teresa and Dawn had been part of a line-up to speak to Prince Philip and the Queen.

“He asked where I was from and what I did, and I told him I was a blacksmith,” said Mr Readman.

He said Prince Philip moved on to speak to his older brother Mick, who was also a blacksmith and farrier, but had assumed Alan was the older sibling.

The royal visit to Cloughton in 1975.

When he pointed out that he was younger, Prince Philip told Mr Readman: “It’s that beard, it makes you look older.”

Mr Readman also met the pair at another garden party in Lancashire and when they visited Scarborough in 2010.

They had been to reopen the restored Open Air Theatre and then to Hares Leap farm shop on the coastal road before travelling to Cloughton where they visited Mr Readman’s blacksmiths workshop.

Alan Readman, right, and the Blacksmiths Inn team look forward to the 2010 royal visit.

Mr Readman said he showed them photos of when they visited previously in 1950 and met his father, Edgar.

After their visit to the forge, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh went next door to the Blacksmiths Arms Inn.

About 40 children from Hackness Church of England primary school waved Union flags and cheered as the royal couple walked past them and into the pub, where they had a private lunch.

The royal couple also visited Scarborough and Cloughton in 1975.

Edgar Readman began as a blacksmith in Scalby before the family moved to Cloughton, where his two sons, and later grandson Damian, who all became keen village cricketers, joined the family tradition. Mick died in 2007 after battling cancer.