Dingwall and Muir of Ord play host to HRH The Princess Royal
HRH The Princess Royal visited Dingwall and Muir of Ord earlier today (Thursday 26 July) to carry out a number of engagements.
Her first visit of the day was to the Highland Cookhouse at Dingwall Business Park where Company Directors Michelle Stevens, Quintin Stevens and Ian Richards led HRH on a tour of the factory which is home to RSF Scotland, a responsible food manufacturer producing a range of great tasting, nutritious prepared foods and ready meals using ingredients from sustainable Highland sources. HRH had the opportunity to tour the premises to see dishes being prepared, chat to members of staff, meet local food suppliers and learn more about the business. At the end of the tour the Princess was joined outside by Hunter Stevens (8) and Freddie Stevens (6) who presented her with a posy after she unveiled the new exterior sign on the building.
The next stop for HRH, who was accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant Janet Bowen, was to visit the newly opened home of the Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Base, also located in the Dingwall Business Park. Here HRH met some of the team, including new recruits, who carry out rescues and spoke to the team who built the building which opened just last month. Guests were invited to view photographs and maps showing the extent of the area covered by the team and to hear about some of their more challenging recent rescues before being shown some of the vehicles and key pieces of kit and equipment used.
In the afternoon the focus of the Royal visit switched to Muir of Ord with Princess Anne arriving to cheers and a warm welcome at the Muir of Ord Community Hub. Here the Lord-Lieutenant presented The Convener and Chief Executive of The Highland Council, representatives from the community council, the Hub Management Group, funders, people involved in the building project, volunteers and user-groups.
Liz Galashan, Chair of the Muir Hub Management Group took the guests on a tour of the building during which representatives from local groups had the chance to speak to HRH about their activities, including the Calman Trust who run the café. Other groups represented included the local craft group, the gardening club, Muir Movies club and the local Heritage group. HRH also had the chance to view a new exhibition entitled “Gala Through The Years” and was introduced to this year’s Gala Queen Amy Murdoch and her attendants Caitlyn Maclennan and Aiden Gibb. Before leaving HRH unveiled a plaque to mark her visit and was presented with a posy by the Gala Queen.
The next visit was to Urray House where HRH met a number of residents, including the care home’s oldest, 101 year old Flora Brill. Pupils from Tarradale Primary provided the entertainment with Highland dancing and live music.
The final visit of the busy day was to R&I Cruden Ltd – Highland Renewable Heating Installers based in Muir of Ord Industrial Estate. The company works all over the Highlands installing and servicing heating systems in both commercial and domestic properties, specialising in renewable technologies. HRH was taken on a tour of the premises, meeting staff and apprentices and hearing about some of the past and current projects the company are delivering.
Speaking after the visit, the Ross and Cromarty Civic Leader and local Councillor, Margaret Paterson, who was introduced to HRH at the Muir of Ord Hub, said: “I’d like to thank HRH and everyone involved in organising what has been a wonderful day. As well as giving The Highland Cookhouse in Dingwall and R&I Cruden Ltd in Muir of Ord the chance to showcase their developing businesses, the day was about celebrating achievement. The Mountain Rescue team play such an important role and I’m glad this was recognised today and I know HRH enjoyed her tour of their new base and hearing about some of the recent rescues the team have carried out.
“At the Hub in Muir of Ord it was lovely to see so many community groups and the team behind the redevelopment get together. The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone appreciated the interest shown by the Princess. I’m sure the visit to Urray House Care Home was a highlight for staff and residents that will be remembered for many years to come.
"Ross and Cromarty is a special place and today it really was heartening to be able to show Princess Anne the strong team spirit, business skills, creativity, aspiration and hard work of so many people.”