On Tuesday, The Prince of Wales was joined by The Duchess of Cornwall as they embarked on day two of ‘Wales Week.’
Tuesday saw the royal couple attend a series of engagements ranging from arts and crafts, baking, a pub visit and ending with an international music festival.
Prince Charles and Camilla first stop were in Llanfairfechan where they toured the Wern Isaf house, an Arts and Crafts property that was formerly the home of the architect Herbert Luck North.
Wern Isaf (previously Rosebriers) was designed and constructed by Herbert Luck North as his family home in 1900. It was listed Grade II* by Cadw in 1990 as one of the most extraordinary houses of its date and style in Wales.
Wern Isaf is still a family home. Since the 1990s Mrs P Phillips, North’s granddaughter and her family have resided in the house. They allow the public to visit this spectacular home for 28 days each year.
Part of Tuesday’s visit included a stop at The Institute, formerly The Church Institute. It was listed by Cadw in 1992 and graded II* as an extraordinary and pure Arts and Crafts design.
It was planned and built by Herbert Luck North. It opened on 11th February 1912 by the Bishop of Bangor The land on which The Institute is located was donated by Mrs North, Herbert’s mother.
The Church in Llanfairfechan had long recognised the need for an Institute, and the building was able to offer a large meeting Hall with a stage, a classroom and a gymnasium. It has been in continuous use ever since and remains a home for numerous local groups, a venue for weddings and also space for arts and crafts fairs.
During their visit, the couple met with residents.
The second engagement of the day saw the royal couple tour a bakery and official open a new baking academy.
Charles and his wife visited the Village Bakery making a stop to see Welsh cake production before attending a reception with the staff and finally unveiling a plaque to officially open the new Baking Academy.
A family owned business since 1934, Village Bakery employs 395 people at their three locations in Wrexham.
The firm’s site on Wrexham Industrial Estate is purpose built, making morning goods such as scones, Welsh cakes and rolls.
In 2013, Village Bakery (Wrexham) was crowned ‘Fastest Growing Company’ in Wales and 2014 it was held the ‘Fastest Growing Manufacturer’ in Wales.
The firm’s new Baking Academy and innovation centre will help train the next generation of bakers and will allow the company to develop new products. The state of the art facility was of keen interest to The Prince of Wales as it employs recycled materials and is rated ‘excellent’ by the BREEAM standards for sustainable buildings.
Next on the Tuesday’s schedule was a visit The Raven Inn, which is part of The Prince’s Pub is the Hub initiative. The Raven Inn is a not for profit community pub. The venture has now been successful for five years and is the hub of the village.
Pub is The Hub functions as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation committed to offering advice and assistance to licensees, rural pubs and community services.
The scheme began in England in 2001 but was only introduced to Wales in 2012 by North Wales-based rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd, who piloted it in Denbighshire.
Estimates have shown that five pubs close daily across the UK. A staggering 2,000 pubs closed alone last year, which in turn hurts the local economy as well as threatens the shops and even schools in the local areas.
It is estimated that five pubs are closing every day across the UK – almost 2,000 closed last year – and many of these are in rural areas where shops and schools are also under threat.
During his visit in 2014 to Ceredigion village, The Prince of Wales noted: “Rural communities, and this country’s rural way of life, face unprecedented challenges. The country pub, which has been at the heart of village life for centuries, is disappearing in many areas. Providing services from the pub, such as a post office or a shop, keeps an essential service in the village.”
During their stop at The Raven Inn, the royal couple met with residents and community groups who regularly meet at the pub.
The final engagement on day two of Wales Week ended on a high note, pun intended.
Before the royal couple paid a visit to Eisteddfod, where they met competitors and watched the International Parade at Royal International Pavilion they embarked on an unannounced walkabout through the town.
The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, a cultural celebration since 1947 takes place at the mountain resort of Llangollen in the Dee Valley. It began as a way to foster peace between nations post World War II.
The festival sees around 4,000 performers and over 50,000 visitors annually converge on the small Welsh town and its International Pavilion to enjoy dance, song performance and enjoy the peace and friendship atmosphere it promotes.
During the event on Tuesday, the heir to the throne and his wife watched the International Parade and enjoyed the competitors dressed in national costumes participate in the lively event.
Charles is Patron of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.
On Wednesday, Camilla will host a tea party for children from Ty Hafan Hospice as part of what proved to be a very busy day for both The Duchess and Prince Charles.
Featured photo credit: Andy Gott via Flickr