Prince Charles meets school children at Kirkgate

24th January 2012'Prince Charles Visits Kirkgate Station Wakefield.'BY MATTHEW PAGE
24th January 2012'Prince Charles Visits Kirkgate Station Wakefield.'BY MATTHEW PAGE

THE Prince of Wales arrived at Kirkgate Station in a carriage pulled by a steam engine.

His Royal Highness was greeted by crowds of school children waving Union flags as he steamed into the wet and damp station.

The Prince unveiled and renamed the 1950s steam locomotive Britannia owned by former Pop Idol judge Pete Waterman.

His Royal Highness then made his way down the platform speaking to school children.

Noor Rauf, a class four pupil at Pinders Primary, said the prince had been impressed with the cards the class had made for him.

And Pinders Primary teacher Georgina Bedford said: “He said he was very impressed with how much effort the children had put in.

“It was lovely to see him, the children were all very excited and they’ve really enjoyed themselves.”

The re-named class 7 locomotive was built in 1951 and was the very first to be designed and built by British Railways.

Its carriages and roof was decorated white for when it carried Prince Charles’ grandfather King George VI to his funeral.

The engine was withdrawn from service but has been refitted under the watch of owner music producer Pete Waterman.

Steam engine lover Mr Waterman said: “It was fantastic to have the prince here - it’s something I thought I would never see happen, the sense of achievement is unbelievable.

“He’s as much of a steam lover as I am and we also want to encourage more young people to get into engineering.

“Some of the engines were actually built down the road from here - I love Yorkshire, it’s fantastic.”

The Prince of Wales is also travelling to South Yorkshire visiting Barnsley and Wentworth Castle to see the recent restoration work.