Braving the chilly weather, The Queen and Prince Philip were in King’s Lynn on Monday afternoon to officially open South Lynn fire station. The Royal couple were joined by a whole host of the station’s staff as well as a vast amount of well-wishers and children, who cheered and waved flags as The Queen and Philip arrived.
Upon their arrival to the fire station, Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson, as well as Norfolk’s chief fire officer Nigel Williams. Both the Lord Lieutenant and chief fire officer accompanied The Queen and Prince Philip around the brand new station where they spoke to a team of firefighters and a group of youngsters from the Prince’s Trust, who work alongside firefighters and members of the Hunstanton fire cadets.
Cadet Scott Jarman spoke of the Royal visit, “The Duke asked do we start fires and put them out? I said no, we don’t. The Queen asked me if I’d like to join the fire service and I said: Absolutely.”
Whilst on their tour of South Lynn fire station, The Queen and Prince Philip were introduced to an artificial horse which is used to train crews in animal or so called “technical” rescues. Mark Endersby, who is a firefighter at the station commented on this meeting, “The Duke was very interested in it, he was asking what does this do, what does that do.”
Station Commander Bob Ayers also spoke of the Royal opening, “I thought it went very well. The Queen and Duke were on fine form, asking some challenging questions of the crews. The Queen showed a lot of interest in the water rescue side of things. Overall, its good for the station, it marks the official start for the station.”
At the conclusion of their visit to South Lynn, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh both unveiled a plaque to commemorate their visit whilst also signing portraits of themselves. The portraits and the plaque will reportedly take pride of place at the station.
South Lynn fire station is expected to make a significant difference to response times in the south and west of Lynn. West Norfolk mayor Barry Ayres highlighted the importance of the Royal visit, “It’s really put the stamp on this, which is such an important building for the town.”
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are expected to return to London next week after their annual Sandringham break.
Featured Photo Credit- Northern Ireland Office/ M T Hurson/Harrisons