Duke does the honours

The Duke of Gloucester drive the train at Steeple Grange Railway.

The Duke of Gloucester drive the train at Steeple Grange Railway.

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A HERITAGE railway and a new eco centre got the royal seal of approval during a day of celebration.

The Duke of Gloucester visited Wirksworth during a tour of the county last week.

SEAT OF LEARNING: Anne Oldak demonstrates chair upholstery techniques to the Duke of Gloucester as Cathy Cooke, Derbyshire Eco Centre Manager, watches on.

SEAT OF LEARNING: Anne Oldak demonstrates chair upholstery techniques to the Duke of Gloucester as Cathy Cooke, Derbyshire Eco Centre Manager, watches on.

He unveiled a commemorative plaque and viewed courses in progress at the new Derbyshire Eco Centre, in Porter Lane.

Bruce Buckley, Derbyshire County Council deputy chief executive and strategic director for children and younger adults said: “We were delighted to welcome the Duke of Gloucester to see first hand the excellent work which is taking place at the Derbyshire Eco Centre.

“It is a superb new building which has helped to expand the number of courses we offer to safeguard many of the county’s traditional skills.”

The Duke also called in at Steeple Grange Light Railway to open the new Sandy Lane level crossing.

Rail enthusiasts have complete a major extension to the visitor attraction, following a 25-year project.

John Woodward, of the railway, said: “The Duke took a great interest in our work and expressed enthusiasm for our project, which is to drive the line as far as Middleton-by-Wirksworth.

The Duke also viewed the Engine House, learnt about the history of the line and was greeted by children and staff from Middleton Community Primary School and Middleton Toddler Group.