Queen's Visit: Youngsters' wet wait

PUBLISHED: 10:13 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

Youngsters wait in the pouring rain outside Stotfold Mill for a glimpse of the Duke of Edinburgh but were not rewarded with a wave for their patience

Youngsters wait in the pouring rain outside Stotfold Mill for a glimpse of the Duke of Edinburgh but were not rewarded with a wave for their patience

Hordes of children turned up to greet The Duke of Edinburgh when he toured Stotfold Mill on Friday. But despite waiting for an extra 45 minutes in the torrential rain they saw him ushered straight in without so much as a wave. Disappointed parents were le

Hordes of children turned up to greet The Duke of Edinburgh when he toured Stotfold Mill on Friday.

But despite waiting for an extra 45 minutes in the torrential rain they saw him ushered straight in without so much as a wave. Disappointed parents were left to take home their equally disappointed children, with their soaking flags, to dry off.

Colin Phelps, headteacher of St Mary's Lower School, said: "We thought the children were wonderful to wait in the torrential rain. It's a pity he couldn't say hello, it's a little disappointing."

Isabelle Collier, wife of Cllr Brian Collier who was among those accompanying the duke on his tour, had been at Arlesey earlier in the day to welcome the royals. She was grateful for the duke supporting the mill; however her favourite moment only highlighted the difference during the duke's solo visit.

She said: "The best moment of the day was when the Queen saw the kids with their posies and beckoned them over as that is an experience they will remember."

Among those who turned out to get a glance of Prince Philip were the volunteers of the mill expressing pride in the building they helped bring back to life.

Sheila Archer, 68, of Stotfold, is part of The Stotfold Art Group as well as belonging to The Stotfold Mill Trust. She said: "The mill was burnt down in 1992 and we're building it up again brick by brick. A lot of hard money and work has gone into it."

Prince Philip officially opened the refurbished mill and during a tour he unveiled a statue of the late Sam Randall whose family were millers there for 112 years.

Dismal weather failed to ruin the day though as those that did decide to stay on cheered and waved when the prince made his exit.

Stotfold supporters were happy for the recognition the refurbished mill received as the building is barely recognisable as the devastated site of past years.

Randall's Tea Room within the mill poured its first cup in April this year and the working mill opened to the public in May. However, the mill opened formally in October and its future certainly looks golden.

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