Eastwood turned out in force yesterday to give a right royal welcome to Prince Charles in Eastwood Park.
The largest crowd ever to gather in the district started to arrive hours before Prince Charles was due to arrive, and 3000 people impatiently waited the district’s first royal visitor with excitement mounting audibly, as his helicopter came into sight and hovered to land.
Accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant Viscount Muirshiel, and his equerry, Prince Charles was welcomed by Provost Ian Hutcheson, Strathclyde Convenor Geoffrey Shaw, Col. Ian Campbell, Chair of Eastwood Jubilee Appeal Fund Committee, and Mr Michael Henry, Secretary to the Committee and Clerk to the Lieutenancy.
With the official formalities over, the keynote of the visit became informal as Prince Charles, National Chairman of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Fund going to meet and chat with his Eastwood Committee.
And there was good news for him, that with 10 minutes of Jubilee Fund events still to follow the Eastwood Committee had already raised £3000.
From there on the youth of the district took over, the young people who, with their counterparts, in other parts of the country and the Commonwealth will benefit from the Fund.
And what a show they presented for their special guest.
Eastwood Park was transformed with their colourful displays, starting with the red, white and blue toppered Youth Club members, and smartly uniformed groups who lined the pathway as he started his tour of the park.
Even the policing of the tour area had a youthful atmosphere with Strathclyde Police Cadets, aged between 16 and 18 years, on duty.
Members of the Youth organisations in the district, from the three youngest Beavers aged 5–7 years, who demonstrated their mechanical and first aid abilities in the Cub Activity Group, put on a superb displays.
In true showbiz style, the show went on despite the tremendous excitement of the Prince stopping to speak to many of those taking part.
Brownies in the uniform of their counterparts of Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, India and Kenya presented international revels, whilst the Guides, on a typical camp site, showed their expertise, the Boys Brigade showed the prowess in gymnastics which they demonstrate at annual displays, and the Girls Brigade, attractive in bright leotards, presented music and movement which included tambourining by their international award-winning team.
The J.L.G.B stayed on the music and prizewinning revive with their Walton Trophy winning majorettes.
This was a second royal occasion for them as they had previously performed before Prince Philip, and Brei Akiva Haboeim presented colourful songs and dance of Israel.
Local Youth Clubs and the Maccabi Club turned to sport with the former engaged in a friendly interclub volleyball journey, and Maccabi demonstrating judo as a health exercise rather than for defence. The lads of the J. L.G.B stayed on this theme with a smart drill routine.
With only one hour outdoors on his Eastwood Park Tour, Prince Charles must have been tempted to skip lunch in Eastwood House when he came to the Eastwood, Woodfarm and Williamwood High School’s Duke of Edinburgh award group who were actually preparing their lunch as part of their activities. The smell of sizzling sausages were very tempting.
The Scouts possibly even more upset the royal sense of direction and place with their pioneering effort on an 18ft high Safari Shelter named “Buck House”.
Undoubtedly he got the message of Eastwood’s Sea Cadets which they signalled “TS Alacrity welcomes H.R.H the Prince of Wales” and the suitably Jubilee message “Here’s a health unto her Majesty”.
Fresh from winning the Shoesmith Piping Trophy the 27th (Netherlee) B.B Pipe Band and 128th (Williamwood) Band, who were runners-up with the Glasgow University O.C.T.U Band, provided the official music of the day, with the highlight being the Jubilee made “Elizabeth” specially composed by music teacher Mr Gregg Fredricks for Eastwood’s royal visit.
The 1936 Jubilee Fund was started by Prince Charles’ great-uncle and he again followed in his footsteps when he lunched in Eastwood House, being the second Prince of Wales to visit there although the first visit had been a private one.
For Eastwood, the end of the tour, for Prince Charles a continuation with afternoon visits in Ayrshire.