Cheshire East Council received a right Royal honour at this week’s Cheshire Show.
Her Royal Highness Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited the Council’s stand and received a very warm welcome from Members and staff – and she even got the chance to meet some of Cheshire East’s Olympic Torch Relay runners and hold the iconic torch.
The Countess arrived (June 19) at the prestigious Cheshire East-sponsored event amid sunshine and applause and was introduced to Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones, Cheshire East Mayor Councillor George Walton and other senior Council figures.
The Countess then met and chatted to staff and volunteers at the Council’s display. The stand, titled ‘Celebrate 2012’, included a Union Flag floral display and ‘street party’ area to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Olympic Torch Relay runners from across Cheshire East and a children’s mini-Olympics sports area to mark the London 2012 Games.
Councillor Michael Jones said of the visit: “It was a great honour and a real pleasure to warmly welcome the Countess of Wessex to Cheshire East.
“The Cheshire Show is a fantastic celebration of so much that is great about our county – especially its rich farming heritage, fine produce foods and drink and its innovative spirit of engineering and manufacturing – and I’m sure that shone through during her visit.
“Cheshire East is proud to support the show and our farming community, who are at the heart of Cheshire East’s beautiful landscape and views.
“We are always keen to promote Cheshire as a place to live, work and do business. We have a wonderful amount to offer people.”
Among those she spoke to were Cheshire East Olympic Torch Relay runners Joe Beswick (Macclesfield) and Andrew Fewtrell (Crewe) – who proudly handed the Countess his iconic gold Olympic Torch to hold.
Andrew, who founded the outdoor activities youth charity Up And Under in 2007 and ran with the Olympic Torch in his home town, Crewe, said: “I thought it was a good idea to ask if the Countess wanted to hold the Olympic Torch, as so many people had been keen to during the day. In that respect, she’s no different from anyone else – and was really pleased to do so.
“We had a bit of a chat about why I carried the torch and what it meant to me and then she claimed to have brought the glorious weather – so I asked her to stay on for a couple of months!
“To carry the torch through your home town, surrounded by friends and family and people you work with was a fantastic honour – and a very emotional day for me.”
Cheshire East A-Team scheme apprentice Jakob Humphries, from Crewe, also chatted with the Countess. He said afterwards: “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me to meet her – I never expected it. She was very polite and very nice to talk too.
“I had never even seen a royal in real life before – and I got the chance to talk to her and shake her hand. It was quite exciting and I was very nervous.”