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Duke of Kent visits Bradford and Oakworth
The Duke of Kent gave the Royal seal of approval to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, met Scouts and visited a leading Bradford-based design company during his visit to the district today.
His Royal Highness, who is patron of the railway’s preservation society, met visiting dignitaries at Oxenhope station following a 45-minute ride in the cab of a historic locomotive to Keighley and back to celebrate the organisation’s 50th anniversary.
He told gathered members and civic dignitaries: “I came here four years ago and things have moved a long way since then.
“Many congratulations and all the best wishes for many more years.”
The Duke’s visit also marked the centenary of the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway Club Carriage, which had been used as a cricket pavilion before a major 18-year restoration project to restore it.
After taking off overalls and gloves, he unveiled a plaque to commemorate both anniversaries.
Dr Matt Stroh, the railway’s chairman said: “I think he really enjoyed the journey and even did the water for the steam train at Keighley. We showed him some of the carriages and what fascinates him is what we can do by taking something that is a rusty hulk and restoring it.”
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Dale Smith, was joined by mayors from Keighley, Fylde and Blackpool to be shown the Club Carriage, used in 1912 to take businessmen from the Lancashire coast to Manchester’s cotton mills.
Meanwhile Calibre UK was presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade by the Duke after significantly boosting its overseas sales since 2008. The company employs 23 people at its Cornwall Terrace headquarters, overlooking the Bradford City football stadium.
Its electronics and equipment, which are designed and produced in Bradford, are used in various devices, including to provide images for keyhole surgery; by the RAF and other military forces, and in giant screens such as the one used in Bradford’s Centenary Square.
The Duke of Kent told the gathering: “Winning the Queen’s Award is a very great achievement for any company and recognises a high degree of skill and hard work enabling you to sell your products to customers around the world.”
The Duke also met Scouts and leaders from the 34th Bradford South Scout Group in Great Horton.
Jennifer Fothergill from the Scout group, said: “We are very proud that the Duke has joined us today and has seen the work we do in this community with young people.”