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Right royal welcome
10:00am Thursday 12th April 2012 in Wiltshire
PEOPLE in towns across Wiltshire will be hoping to catch the Royal eye when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit the county’s only city next month.
The visit will be part of their national tour to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. To mark the occasion, communities across the county have been asked to organise displays in Cathedral Close, Salisbury, on May 1.
The stand being put together by Royal Wootton Bassett will feature the Letters Patent awarded to the town last year.
The honour, presented to the town by the Princess Royal in recognition of the respect shown by residents during the repatriations, will be on show in the Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade area’s tent.
Two Royal Wootton Bassett residents, wearing medieval-style tabards, will also be in the tent to speak about the town.
Chippenham’s marquee will also have a historical theme, with wandering medieval minstrels and ladies-in-waiting.
The exhibits being planned include the life-size model of King Alfred from the town’s museum and heritage centre, and a copy of the 1554 charter granted to Chippenham by Queen Mary I.
There will also be a prominent focus on one of the town’s best-loved events – the annual folk festival, now in its 41st year.
Chippenham area board manager Vicky Welsh said: “We want to give people a flavour of what we have in Chippenham, and hopefully encourage them to visit.”
Devizes is trading on its long and chequered history, particularly its involvement in the English Civil War, for its display.
“Visitors to the Devizes area marquee will experience a mix of the rich history of the past and the vibrant culture of today,” said Richard Rogers, the Devizes area manager.
“There will be plenty to interest you, such as the re-enactment of the Battle of Roundway that depicts the most important Royalist cavalry victory of the civil war, or meeting the country’s only remaining master cooper from Wadworth Brewery.
“Alternatively, enjoy a variety of local performers and artists such as the Regency Dancers, the Potterne Mummers or the Market Place Arts project.”
The Marlborough tent will have displays about the Avebury World Heritage Site; Action for the River Kennet; Kennet Valley Driving for the Disabled; the North Wessex Downs AONB; Marlborough Guild of Embroiderers; and Ramsbury Brewery, which will be handing out samples of its Ramsbury Gold and other beers.
Marlborough Jazz Festival is sending a duet to entertain the visitors and members of the Merchant’s House Trust will be in 17th century costume to advertise the period silk merchant’s home and its refurbishment.
Andrew Jack, executive officer of Marlborough Area Board, said: “There will be eight or nine organisations.”
Pewsey is hoping two rare breed Wiltshire horn sheep from James Read’s flock at Stanton St Bernard will attract the Queen to visit its stand.
Other exhibits will highlight historical sites and local industries, such as Marshall’s Bakery.
Organiser Suzie Brew said she had asked all the communities in Pewsey to contribute. Around the walls of their display tent will be an illustrated timeline of historic events drawn by June Pearson from Grafton.
The Corsham tent will have representatives from the Nat-ional Trust in Lacock, Corsham Area Heritage and Information Centre, Corsham Town Council, Box Archaeological Society and Bath Spa University’s Corsham Court Campus.
Corsham community area manager Dave Roberts said: “We wanted to make sure we were represented by groups which could give an interesting insight into the history of Corsham.”
Also in the tent will be plans for Corsham’s new campus, called Springfield.
Wiltshire Councillor Toby Sturgis has been busy preparing the Malmesbury display.
He hopes to incorporate a large wooden jigsaw designed by Wentworth Wooden Puzzles in Pinkney, as well as two screens flashing images of Malmesbury then and now.
Residents of Calne are being urged to contribute their memories of the town to feature in its exhibit. Area manager Jane Vaughan said: “We are working with local people and the heritage centre to create an exhibition that will promote Calne as a place that’s full of life and community spirit and as an interesting and friendly place to visit.”