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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Preston Park welcomes Royal Visitor

Thursday, October 09, 2014

preston park

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, officially opened the restored kitchen garden at Preston Park Museum and Grounds yesterday (October 8).

He unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the Victorian garden, which has been brought back to life by Stockton Council and an army of volunteers.

During his visit he also named one of two boats recently purchased by Tees Rowing Club (TRC) with funding from Stockton Council and sports lottery money.

The boat was named 'Duke of Kent 150' in recognition of the club celebrating its 150th anniversary year.

The second boat has recently been named after Penny and Derek Copeland - parents of London 2012 Olympic gold medallist and TRC member, Kat Copeland. His Royal Highness also met and congratulated Mr and Mrs Copeland during his visit.

His Royal Highness was accompanied throughout his visit by the Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Barbara Inman.

The Mayor said: "It was an absolute privilege to welcome His Royal Highness to Preston Park and show him the wonderful work that is going on here. The charming walled kitchen garden produced fruit, vegetables and flowers for the Ropner family and their visitors back in Victorian times.

"So much hard work has gone into its restoration and all of the staff and volunteers who have made this happen should be very proud of what they've achieved. It's hard to believe that until recently, what is now a beautiful garden with its restored glass houses and head gardener's bothy was overgrown and closed to the public.

"Of course, Preston Park has an enviable riverside setting so it is fitting that we were joined by Tees Rowing Club in its 150th anniversary year. Much was said about creating an Olympic legacy beyond 2012 and the use of Council and lottery funding to buy these boats shows that these words are still being backed by investment."

His Royal Highness also met rowers from Yarm School, where Kat Copeland began her rowing career, and some of the people involved in the creation of the new skate park.

Preston Park Museum and Grounds is Stockton's primary visitor attraction and welcomes more than 600,000 people every year. For more information about Preston Park and all it has to offer, visit 

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