PRINCESS Anne laughed and joked with craftsmen as she visited Wakefield.
The Princess Royal spent around an hour at Stanley Ferry Workshops this morning (Friday) to see the work it takes to build lock gates for canals all over the country.
She toured the welding, gearing and lock gate departments, meeting and greeting craftsmen and office staff, before unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit.
The site is one of only two places in the UK where lock gates are carefully built using traditional techniques to exact measurements.
Among the dignitaries to meet her were Mayor of Wakefield Elaine Blezard. She said: “It was a brilliant morning and it was good that she chose to come to Wakefield.
“The Princess Royal was gracious and knew what she was talking about. She generally seemed interested in the work which takes place here and talked with the skilled workers.
“For myself, it was also a great opportunity to see how the lock gates were made as you don’t realise how much you don’t see under the water.”
The workshops, owned by the Canal and River Trust, formerly British Waterways, recently manufactured new gates for the famous Five Rise Locks in Bingley.
The Princess Royal will also travel to Shepley Bridge Marina in Mirfield, and attend a lunchtime reception on supported employment in Bradford.