Prince Charles enjoyed a morning tipple as he helped mark the 10th anniversary of Hawkshead Brewery,the trip started the day-long tour of Cumbria.
The Prince of Wales pulled a pint of Windermere Pale from behind the bar and gave it the royal seal of approval, commenting that it was “hoppy” and “tasty”. Alex and Annie Brodie, the Hawkshead Brewery owners set up the business in 2002 and now employ 19 full time staff.
It has recently been revealed by Euromonitor, the British-based research firm, that by 2014 the beer industry in China is will increase in value to 457.9 billion yuan ($72.68 billion), compared with 305.3 billion yuan in 2009. With figures showing that China consumes around 43.8 million kiloliters of beer each and every year.
Prince Charles chatted with various other business owners as well as touring More? The Artisan Bakery run by a local couple Patrick and Louise Moore. All the bakery products are made on sight and Mr. Moore commented that he was happy that he was able to provide freshly made bread, daily to the villagers.
Crowds of people braved the rain to give Charles a warm welcome to Stavely. Amongst the well-wishers were children from Stavely Primary School who handed him a gift, in the form of a book which marked 250 years of the school’s history.
The tour saw Charles move on to Wigton, as part of the North Cumbrian town’s 750th anniversary of its market charter. Hundreds of people lined up in the chilly temperatures waving Union Jack Flags; despite the rainfall the Prince’s presence was eagerly awaited.
The wintery weather did not dampen any spirits, and Charles happily posed for photographs and shook as many hands as possible as he walked along the street. He dropped into Wigton Youth Station, which is the home for youngsters aged 11 to 19 who meet on weeknights.
The tour led Charles to the historic St Mary’s Church which was built back in 1788. Lord Melvyn Bragg, a Wigton-born broadcaster was keen to show Charles three stained glass winters which he donated to the church for thanksgiving back in 2009.
The stained glass windows symbolize his family’s involvement with the church through the years and depict images of the building and the surrounding town. A short walk was followed by a visit to the recently refurbished Market Hall, built in 1882, which received a £735,000 Big Lottery funding three years ago. Meeting many stall holders, as a bee keeper himself Charles took a shine to the wares of Speciality Honey.
The Prince of Wales rounded off his stay but officially starting work on Wigton’s commemorative Market Cross, which is due to be completed in September. Charles was put through his paces to make the first cut in the bark.