GALLERY: Art, crafts and storytelling as the Duchess of Cornwall opens a revamped library

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The Duchess of Cornwall meets library users, young and old, at the Lichfield Street Hub

Wearing a light gray plaid Dior coat dress, she arrived at the Lichfield Street building to meet staff and see the borough’s historical treasures, including letters written by the author of Three Men in a Boat Jerome K Jerome, the heroine nurse Sister Dora and the 11th century city charter.

The two delighted residents who were waiting outside to catch a glimpse of him, as well as library users, said they were both “surprised” but “happy” to see a senior member of the royal family visiting the city, at amid the fury surrounding the decision of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to step back from the main tasks.

During her whirlwind tour, she spoke with Walsall Council Collection Librarian Cath Yates about the archives that were moved from Essex Street to the Library Center as part of a 4 , £ 6million.

Ms. Yates also presented her with a bouquet of fresh roses with pink, purple and cream petals.

The Duchess also spent time meeting young families in the Kids’ Corner where she read an excerpt from The Gruffalo by author Julia Donaldson.

The Duchess of Cornwall reads Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo to a group of Tiny Tots

She met members of the library’s new Mindfulness Coloring group and helped color a giant copy of the Borough’s official crest telling them that her husband, the Prince of Wales, was “much better at drawing” than ‘her, which made the group laugh.

During her visit, she unveiled a new wall plaque by untying a purple satin ribbon that surrounded it. The plaque will be attached to the wall at a later date.

She also gave a short speech in which she congratulated the library board and staff for the work done, calling the facilities “magnificent”.

The Duchess said: “The work you have done both in this area of ​​the library and in the archives is wonderful. Upon entering I could see that it was a very good space. Thank you very much for me. have invited. “

Ms Yates said: “It is very exciting and an honor for us to meet the Duchess. She took a keen interest in the archives and seemed very knowledgeable about them. She was very interested in our oldest document, the charter.

“Another document she consulted was that of John Leckie, who was involved in the saddlery,

The Duchess of Cornwall is greeted by members of the public at the official opening of Lichfield Street Hub at the Walsall Central Library and Archives

“She was asking how long we had records and I explained that some date back to medieval times.”

Walsall Central Library was closed for almost a year in 2017 as part of £ 4.6million improvements and to make room for archives and local history resources.

The visit was part of a full day tour of the area which also saw her visit Birmingham Children’s Hospital; the prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School in Edgbaston; and while she was in Walsall, she also called in the Launer of the Royal Leather Goods Suppliers.

A dozen curious passers-by were waiting to see the Duchess when she arrived Wednesday afternoon in secrecy and security.

Among the waiting group was retired social worker Anthea Gullick, 75, of Park Hall, Walsall, who captured the arrival on her camera phone.

The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to the Launer factory

Ms Gullick said: “It’s time for a Royal Senior to come visit us. The last one I can remember is when the Queen opened the new Walsall Art Gallery all those years ago. is too bad this was not made public as more people would have been here, after all the Duchess is going to be Queen one day.

“My grandfather Victor Murray was an artist and his work was exhibited here about 50 years ago. I have great memories and close ties to the library.

Marcia Campbell, 51, a hospital worker in Dyson Close, Bentley, said: “I’m very happy the Duchess came today. Walsall needed something like that to give her a little push. As for Harry and Megan they do what their heart tells them.

The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to the factory of the upscale handbag firm Launer

“As for the Royal Family as a whole, I have a lot of respect for them, but they have to listen to real people like us, with real issues, such as financial worries and life issues.”

Her visit to see the renovated Walsall Library and Archives Center was part of a full day tour of the area, which also took her to visit Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School , in Edgbaston.

While in Walsall, she also tapped the Launer of the Royal Leather Goods Suppliers where she was presented with her own purse.

The Duchess of Cornwall with Felicity Dahl (left) on a visit to Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Among the group waiting to see her arrive in town was retired social worker Anthea Gullick, 75, of Park Hall, who captured the scenes with her camera phone.

Ms Gullick said: “It is time for a senior royal to come visit him. The last one I can remember is when The Queen opened the new Walsall Art Gallery all those years ago.

“My grandfather Victor Murray was an artist and his work was exhibited here about 50 years ago.

The Duchess of Cornwall poses on stage with pupils on a visit to the Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham

“I have great memories and a close connection to the library.”

Marcia Campbell, 51, a hospital worker in Dyson Close, Bentley, said: “I am very happy the Duchess has come today. Walsall needed something like that to give him a little push.

“As for the Royal Family as a whole, I have a lot of respect for them, but they have to listen to real people like us, with real issues, such as financial worries and life issues.”

The Duchess of Cornwall receives a pair of ballet shoes from a pupil on stage during a visit to Elmhurst Ballet School

While at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Duchess unveiled a unique stained glass installation, featuring some of Roald Dahl’s most iconic characters, specially designed by renowned children’s illustrator Sir Quentin Blake.

The new stained glass windows for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital were created by leading glass specialist Andrew Moor in collaboration with Proto Glass Studios.

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