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Princess Anne and Mike Tindall open new Rugby clubhouse in Gloucester

The Princess Royal was joined by her son-in-law to cut the ribbon for the official opening of the new £500,000 clubhouse at Minchinhampton RFC. The Queen’s daughter was taken by helicopter where she then drove herself to the new Rugby clubhouse to meet its awaiting members.

Princess Anne handed out awards to volunteers from throughout the county. Before cutting the ribbon before the clubhouse which is shaped like a tithe barn, she said: “I have watched the developments taking place at this rugby club for a long time, and I am pleased it is finally finished.

“My horses seem to have noticed a great deal of noise at the club recently and that says a great deal about the impressive membership you have here.

“I wish you all the best for the future.”

In order to reveal the plaque, a contraption designed by the club saw a windmill slowly move a club shirt to reveal the plaque.

Julian Athawes, Minchinhampton RFC President, said: “It is just fantastic to finally have this built.”

He added: “The club has only been going 35 years but in that time we have been quite nomadic, but a huge effort from within the club has allowed us to build a home.

“To see the club house finally finished is absolutely magnificent.

“It has been a big effort but it is brilliant to see it here, and it gives the club a home now.”

After the club opening ceremony, a Rugby match was held between a Gloucestershire RFU XV and a Mike Tindall Invitational XV comprised of former Gloucester and international Rugby players beat the local team . 31-14.

Mike Tindall on hand and he told the Gloucestershire Live: “It is great to see these facilities now at the club, it is a community club, and these are good facilities for the area to use.

“We owe a lot to pubs, including The Queen Matilda, over the years for letting us use their facilities in the past.

“But now it is great to have a home for the club and to have indoor showers, not the old outdoor ones we had.”

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