Royal visit marks a special year

AN ANGUS charity welcomed Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to Forfar yesterday (Tuesday).

As president of Victim Support, The Princess Royal was helping to mark the charity’s 20th year in Angus.

Angus councillor Jeanette Gaul was just one of the many volunteers at the Canmore Room gathering.

As a volunteer with Victim Support for nine years, Councillor Gaul was particularly pleased that The Princess Royal joined them on such a special occasion.

She said: “It is great to see Victim Support reach their 20th anniversary in Angus.

“We started in the summer of 1992 and have grown in strength since then. We have lots of volunteers now of all different nationalities.

“It is good that The Princess Royal, president of the organisation, came along as part of her busy schedule to help us mark the occasion.”

Despite the cold, autumn weather, there was a warm welcome for the Princess when she arrived in town just before 11 a.m.

Slightly ahead of schedule, she was welcomed to the Municipal Building at The Cross by Angus Councillor Iain Gaul, leader of the local administration.

Accompanied by Mrs Georgiana Osborne, the Lord-Lieutenant of Angus, the Princess stepped inside where she was met by Bob Leitch, chairman of Victim Support Scotland.

Also among the welcoming party were Alan McCloskey, head of Victim and Witness Support Services, and Alan Davie, immediate past area chairman for Angus and immediate past vice-chairman for VSS nationally, who is still a volunteer in Angus.

The party then moved upstairs to the Canmore Room where Angus Provost Helen Oswald gave a welcome speech, which was replied to by Councillor Jeanette Gaul and Mr Leitch.

The Princess spent around an hour speaking to the invited guests, who included volunteers as well as Forfar businessman Jim Whittet, an enthusiastic campaigner and supporter of the group’s work.

Also in attendance were Richard Stiff, Angus Council’s chief executive, and Gordon Scobbie, Depute Chief Constable of Tayside Police.

The Forfar visit was just one of many The Princess Royal made across Angus.

In Kirriemuir, The Princess Royal presented J&D Wilkie with ‘the UK’s highest accolade for business success’ - a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

The Princess Royal was welcomed by managing director Bob Low and the Lord Lieutenant of Angus.

After enjoying a tour of the factory, the award was presented to Mr Low in the presence of his team of around 90 Kirriemuir-based staff. The event was also attended by J&D Wilkie’s Portuguese partner Lasi.

Mr Low said: “We are delighted and proud to have won this highly prestigious award and to be presented with it by The Princess Royal.

“The award is a fantastic credit to our staff who have made J&D Wilkie the business that it is today.

“With the company celebrating increased sales and a larger share of the market, the entire team should feel proud of the contribution they have made to date and motivated to continue striving for market share and ongoing success.”

The company received the award for the first time for its outstanding commercial success achieved through the implementation of a clear strategy for each of the company’s three business units and the introduction of combined, shared production between the UK and China.

After her visits to Forfar and Kirriemuir, The Princess Royal made her way to Guthrie Castle to attend Save the Children’s Autumn Fair in her role as Patron of the charity before visiting the Mackays factory in Arbroath.