Royal visit for Stallcombe

HIS Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester was at Stallcombe House on Tuesday, visiting residents and learning about their lives and work.

HIS Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester was at Stallcombe House on Tuesday, visiting residents and learning about their lives and work.The duke was on a whistle-stop tour of the Woodbury Salterton home and place of work for people with learning disabilities, as part of an East Devon visit where he also officially opened Clinton Devon Estates' eco-friendly Rolle offices, and visited a Colyton tannery.Before leaving charity-run Stallcombe House, the duke wished the residents and staff well for the future and urged them to continue the good work being carried out there.He said he had been "delighted" to visit the "splendid farm". "I hope you continue to provide a home for many people," said the duke. After meeting local dignitaries, Stallcombe House trustees and staff, the duke was given a guided tour of the centre by manager Chris Thistle.He was shown the theatre, where residents were seen taking part in a dance and musical activity.After visiting the computer room, the duke visited the art, craft and therapy centre, where residents showed him their tapestry work.Resident James Austen, 44, presented the duke with a framed felt picture of the farm's mulberry tree, created by the residents.James, a Stallcombe House resident since 1993, said: "I liked meeting him. He was a nice person. He liked our picture."There were five of us who made the picture. It took a long time. I hope he hangs it up." After looking around the St Jude's accommodation block, where he met resident Charles Sillett, the duke was taken outside to the greenhouse to meet garden manager Greg Towning and resident Jeremy Owen.When the duke was shown Stallcombe's organic vegetable garden, he suggested The Prince of Wales might be keen to visit.The royal visitor and resident Bernard Toomey planted an apple tree to commemorate the bicentenary of the Bramley apple.Before leaving Stallcombe, the duke made a short speech and unveiled a plaque to mark his visit.Stallcombe House manager Chris Thistle said: "The visit went down very well. He was very interested in everything we do."It meant a lot to us that he came to see what we do."Everyone was really excited about him coming. They had been looking forward to the visit for weeks."To see a video of the Duke of Gloucester's visit to Stallcombe House go to

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