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HRH Prince Charles Rededicates The War Memorial

Click HERE to see more photos.

The Royal Visit IN PICTURES.

See the visit on the The Prince Of Wales Website

See the visit on the The Diocese Of Bradford Website

30th September 2002 is a day which will remain in the minds of the people in Cottingley forever.

Hundreds of well wishers waited eagerly along The Parade for the arrival of HRH Prince Charles, Prince Of Wales. Children from Cottingley Village Primary School cheered and waved their Union Jacks as the Royal entourage arrived at St. Michael and All Angels Church flanked by a Police escort.

The Reverend Sue Pinnington gave a service of Remembrance, Thanksgiving and Renewal at the Parish Church and afterwards the Prince walked to the Church gardens for a Rededication Ceremony of the new War Memorial by the Archdeacon of Bradford, the Venerable Guy Wilkinson.

Cottingley fell silent for two minutes of remembrance and a lone bugler sounded the Last Post.

Speakers relayed a speech by The Prince in which he offered his condolences for the heartache felt by the community following the vandalism of the original memorial in May which made national news.

He spoke of the "anger, resentment and bewilderment" of the community at the "shallow rooted" vandals and of the difficulty of connecting to a disillusioned generation.

"The crucial issue, it seems to me, is how you deal with the whole question of alienation."

"How do we tackle the issue of young people left shallow rooted and bereft of a spiritual and moral dimension in their lives?"

"These, of course, are questions which I am sure as a community you are facing."

"The hardest part of being a Christian is to love thy neighbour and do good to those who hate you."

"I do hope that it will remind all of us of the importance of reconnecting all of us to our roots and remembering that it is so important to have that thread of continuity that links one generation with another."

"I only hope that when I come back to Cottingley I will see a transformation and I do believe that every cloud has a silver lining and today, if i may say so, is the silver lining."

"And i wish all the community of Cottingley nothing but the greatest possible success and happiness and reconciliation"

The ceremony also included the unveiling of a plaque to mark the Royal visit.

Despite his busy schedule he walked casually amongst the community smiling, chatting and wishing everyone the very best for 30 minutes. The press, photographers and television cameras from the BBC captured the event and in one memorable moment, he laughed out loud when a young boy was asked if he recognised him. "My granddad watches you on the telly!" came the reply.

Charmed by the friendliness of the village he re-entered St. Michael and All Angels Church for a discussion with community leaders about the work being done to regenerate the area.

At around 1.30pm the Prince left the Church for a final time and got into the Royal Bentley limousine. Slowly, it pulled away from the Church amid huge cheers and applause from the crowds waiting for a final wave.

Not wanting to let anyone down, he duly obliged, lowered his window slightly and gave the famous circular Royal wave.

And that was it. A wonderful historic event for Cottingley drew to a close as the last of the Royal escort disappeared down the hill of Manor Road and out of the village.

Cottingley's Royal visitor brought happiness where there was sadness and gave a renewed spirit to the development of the community with an extra incentive.

That he would come back to the village again one day...

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