Royal visit boost for Colyton

PUBLISHED: 12:19 14 April 2009 | UPDATED: 23:22 15 June 2010

THE Duke of Gloucester (right) meets Andrew Parr at one of Colyton’s longest established and most traditional businesses.

THE Duke of Gloucester (right) meets Andrew Parr at one of Colyton's longest established and most traditional businesses.

TWO Colyton businesses were paid a royal visit last week when the Duke of Gloucester came to town. His Royal Highness Richard Alexander Walter George made a goodwill visit to J & FJ Baker and Co, oak bark tanners, last Tuesday (April 6) as part of his tour of Devon

TWO Colyton businesses were paid a royal visit last week when the Duke of Gloucester came to town.

His Royal Highness Richard Alexander Walter George made a 'goodwill' visit to J & FJ Baker and Co, oak bark tanners, last Tuesday (April 6) as part of his tour of Devon.

He also made a fleeting trip to The Garden Shop next door - out of courtesy, according to shop owner Nick Weldon.

Chairman and director of the tannery Andrew Parr said he had welcomed prominent visitors in the past - but this was the most important one to date.

He said: "We were very honoured to be included on his tour. He was in Devon for four days doing his royal duties and we would like to thank the Lord Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenant, who organised this trip.

"The Duke said he enjoyed his visit and was interested, asking questions. He seemed to like the dirtier parts in particular!"

The Duke, who is a grandson of George V and a first cousin the the Queen, made a one hour tour at the tannery and saw the process of making leather - which has remained unchanged over centuries.

Previous visitors to the tannery have included Tony Robinson for the Channel Four for the series The Worst Jobs in History, in the Victorian period, and Clarissa Dixon and Sir Johnny Scott in Clarissa and the Countryman.

Mr Weldon added: "It was jolly nice that the Duke popped in to say hello. He was very charming and admired our plants, especially the Chelsea gold medal winning streptocarpus.

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