First photos from today’s Royal Visit by Prince Charles to Ely - almshouses, stained glass museum and the farmers’ market all part of his itinerary
- Credit: Archant
Prince Charles was given a warm city wide welcome as he arrived for a series of engagements in Ely today.
He was greeted by a contingent of civic dignitaries before beginning a meet and greet with many local organisations and their representatives.
First stop for His Royal Highness was a visit to the Thomas Parsons’ Charity almshouses, of which he is the patron.
The Prince of Wales, Patron, The Almshouse Association, will visit The Thomas Parsons’ Charity almshouses and meet residents, volunteers and representatives from the charity at a reception. The Poet’s House, St Mary’s Street,
During the visit, His Royal Highness will have the chance to meet residents, volunteers and representatives from The Thomas Parsons’ Charity and visit some of the housing they provide in Ely. The Prince will also unveil a plaque to commemorate the visit.
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Thomas Parsons’ Charity owns and operates 27 Almshouses across the City of Ely; Thomas Parsons’ Square, Deacons Lane Bungalows, and Bamford House. Thomas Parsons, an Ely resident, founded the Charity in 1497.
Thomas Parsons’ Charity also owns a range of farms and land holdings. These include: Cawdle Fen Washes and Milking Hill Common. In addition to the Almshouses, Thomas Parsons’ Charity also gives relief generally or individually to those in need, hardship or distress.
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The Almshouse Association is the membership body for almshouse charities throughout the UK. There are over 1600 almshouse charities across the UK providing homes for 35,000 residents making them collectively one of the largest specialist providers of low-cost community housing. Despite the large numbers housed, 80% of almshouse charities provide less than 20 homes.
The Prince of Wales, Patron, The Stained Glass Museum, will visit the museum to see its expanding collection, meet staff members and hear more about the charity’s education programmes as part of the museum’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
During the visit The Prince of Wales will see how the collection has grown and developed since he last saw it in 2000. His Royal Highness will also meet local schoolchildren undertaking education activities to learn more about the history, creation and preservation of stained glass.
The Stained Glass Museum is the only museum dedicated to stained glass in the UK. It was founded in 1972 and opened to the public in the north triforium of Ely Cathedral in 1979. In spring 2019 it will have been open to the public for 40 years.
The Prince of Wales became Patron of The Stained Glass Museum during its 25th anniversary in 1997. Through its collections, educational visits for schools and other groups, diverse series of public events and practical glass workshops for adults and children the museum offers a variety of opportunities for engaging with our stained glass heritage.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Ely Markets to meet stallholders and hear more about the city’s community initiatives including their commitment to reducing single use plastic and combating homelessness.
Ely Markets has been in existence for at least 800 years and are a blend of traditional and modern, hosting different markets on six days a week all year round. The Ely Farmers’ Market is a relatively recent addition launching in 2000 and now a firm fixture in the local calendar.
During their visit The Prince and The Duchess will be able to meet a selection of Farmers’ Market traders including producers of Aberdeen Angus beef, flower farmers, local growers of salad vegetables, chillies and soft fruit o spectacular bakers and vegan food entrepreneurs.
Two of the Farmers’ Market producers have directly benefited from the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme in setting up their businesses. Ely Markets team were recently joint winners of the national NABMA Market Team of the Year award for their unique combination of tradition and innovation, mentoring of new traders and ongoing commitment to sustainable local shopping and their mission to reducing single-use plastic on the market.
Ely Markets are working with Re-Imagine Resource Centre, which will also be represented on the day. Re-Imagine is devoted to finding creative ways to recycle and re-use a range of goods, from the creation of imaginative artworks to producing bread and preserves from surplus produce.
Ely has also joined the nationwide Morsbag initiative to help encourage local residents to create and use canvas bags made of donated and up-cycled material.
Ely Markets regularly provide a platform for local community groups to raise awareness of particular projects, and taking part in the Farmers’ Market on 27 November are East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Community Hub.
The Community Hub is a support network for local residents on a variety of issues including homelessness, domestic violence, debt and drug or alcohol abuse, providing a holistic service to meet individual needs without unnecessary referrals to other agencies.