HUNDREDS excitedly lined the streets of Kirton in Lindsey as royalty came along to officially re-open the town hall.
The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward received a rapturous reception from hordes of local schoolchildren as he arrived at the historic Diamond Jubilee Town Hall for the opening ceremony.
The Earl was due to re-open the hall last September, but was unable to travel to the village due to poor weather conditions.
However, this time the weather was clear, the bunting was out and the Union Jacks were flying high as residents flocked to see the Prince as he chatted with school pupils and dignitaries before the Kirton in Lindsey Primary School and Huntcliffe School choir entertained him and visitors, and the commemorative plaque was unveiled.
Project Diamond Jubilee has seen the Town Hall beautifully restored, with an extension giving disability access and modern facilities.
The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with a grant of £932,500, as well as North Lincolnshire Council, the LEADER project and Kirton in Lindsey Town Council.
The day was especially important for Jenny Cripps and Penny Hoey, from the Friends of the Town Hall, who were recently lined-up for MBEs in the Queen’s birthday honours list for all of their work in restoring the hall.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Prince said: “Thank you very much indeed for inviting me and I’m very sorry that I couldn’t make it last time, but the rehearsal seems to have done you the world of good!”
He continued: “Thank you to everyone for the effort that has gone into turning this project from an idea into a reality.”
“I hope that now you have gone to such effort to restore this building, that it will become quite a valuable asset to the community.”
Vice-chairman Jenny Cripps said that the day was the perfect way to celebrate putting the heart back into Kirton-in-Lindsey.
“A huge amount of work has gone in to making today possible,” said Jenny.
“We’ve been extremely busy since we became operational again, with lots of concerts, as well as events from local groups.”
She added: “Today is very much about celebrating all of the hard work and saying thank you to everyone who has supported us.”
Kirton in Lindsey Primary School head teacher Mrs Randall said that the children had been very excited in the run up to the big day. “We first prepared the children back in September and they’ve been thrilled ever since – once we explained that he wouldn’t be wearing a crown,” she said.
“We wanted to bring everybody along to see him so he could meet the kids and they’re so excited.”
She added: “The town hall is fantastic and we’ve played a part in supporting it and teaching the children about its history. This is a big thing for Kirton, and it’s really important that the children are aware of that so they can help sustain it in the future.”