Whitby fishing school chief rubs shoulders with Prince Charles

NBFP - Royal visit
NBFP - Royal visit

The head of Whitby’s fishing school has spoken of her joy at meeting Prince Charles this week - the day after he became a grandfather for the first time.

Huge crowds turned out to catch a glimpse of the Duke of Cornwall who was visiting Bridlington with wife Camilla as the world celebrated the news of the birth of Prince William and wife Kate’s 8lb 6oz son who the couple have since named George Alexander Louis.

Anne Hornigold, chief executive of Whitby & District Fishing Industry Training School, was one of those invited to meet the Prince who told her he would like to visit the school in future to find out more about what they do.

Mrs Hornigold was asked to meet the prince as a member of The Holderness Coast FLAG - a Fisheries Local Action Group which covers the East Riding of Yorkshire coast from Flamborough Head to Spurn Point.

The group is set up to access European Fisheries Funding (EFF) to help sustain the local fishing industry and fishing communities and had asked the fishing school to produce a pilot scheme for fishing apprentices for the Holderness Coast after securing funding.

The first group of apprentices spent 10 weeks’ intensive training in Whitby, staying in local lodgings before spending time on fishing boats.

The project is being co-ordinated by retired Bridlington skipper John Jarvis.

If the scheme is successful after its first year it will continue for a further two years. The school is also providing training to apprentices from the Cumbria coast too for the first time.

On Tuesday, Mrs Hornigold along with Mr Jarvis and apprentice Joshua Shutt were introduced to Prince Charles as one of a number of representatives from the FLAG.

She told the Whitby Gazette: “The Prince said all sorts of things in support of what we are doing.

“He was not overly formal which was nice, he was quite relaxed and shook my hand.

“He talked to me about the school, about how it runs and what we do.

“I said everything is going very well. He talked with Josh to see how he found it. He was a really good ambassador for all the other apprentices and said he was doing well. He said he had to have self-discipline to be up and working.”

Mrs Hornigold was very impressed that the Prince had done his research as the school, although the first of its kind in England, is no longer the only one as another school offering has recently opened in Scotland.

“He knew about it, that was interesting. As he left, he said well done and said I should really come and see what you do and I said you are very welcome to come to Whitby.”

Mrs Hornigold said she now intends to write a formal letter to the Prince inviting him to Whitby and to take a tour of the fishing school.

She added: “It was wonderful to be asked to meet him as part of the FLAG organisation.

“As he left us to walk towards the Bridlington Spa to meet Camilla he was talking to people in the crowds that had come out to cheer.

“There was a lot of patriotic cheering and hurrahs and people saying congratulations on your baby. That was the bit which went on TV which was a shame.”