12th April 2023 | Royal Visits to Surrey

HRH The Duke of Gloucester visits Surrey

His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester enjoyed a tour of Surrey recently when he visited Wates in Leatherhead, Silent Pool Distillery in the Surrey Hills, The ‘National Monument Against Violence and Aggression’, known as ‘The Knife Angel’ at Guilford Cathedral, and Stanhope Seta in Chertsey. 

His Royal Highness arrived at Wates in Leatherhead to present The Queen’s Award for Enterprise & Sustainable Development, which they were awarded in 2022 for the third time. He was met by Chairman, Sir James Wates, Tim Wates, who has recently been installed as the New High Sheriff of Surrey, the Deputy Chairman and Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey, Eoghan O’Lionaird, Chief Executive and other members of the Wates family.

During his visit, the Duke heard about their approach to sustainability and the role they are playing to have a more positive impact on the places in which people live and work. 

From net-zero schools, to retrofitting social housing and beyond, Wates’s work is helping the country to decarbonise. They are also working hard to make sure all projects have a positive impact on nature, whether by reducing waste on-site or supporting conservation projects in our local communities. In 2022 alone, Wates generated £183m in social value, through education, employability, and community development projects, spending £7.2m with social enterprises.

At Wates, sustainability is about more than a programme or series of interventions. It is central to the way they do business, the way they operate, and how they support and engage others.

From Leatherhead to the beautiful Surrey Hills where His Royal Highness visited the Silent Pool Distillery. He met the distillery team and founder, Ian McCulloch to award the English distillery the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade Category. As well as learning about the 24 botanicals used in Silent Pool Distillers’ flagship gin, the Duke of Gloucester even ran his own bottle of Silent Pool Coronation Expression Gin through the bottling line on site. Founder of Silent Pool Distillers, Ian McCulloch said, ‘We are honoured to have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category, recognising our growth internationally. Our team work tirelessly to create the outstanding spirits Silent Pool Distillers is famed for and it’s a privilege to be able to share them with customers all over the world. We look forward to growing our international footprint even further and bringing luxury English spirits to more people across the globe.’

The Lord-Lieutenant read the Queen’s Award citation scroll which was then presented to Ian McCulloch by HRH Duke of Gloucester.

Guildford Cathedral has been hosting ‘The Knife Angel’ throughout March during its tour of the UK and welcomed the Duke of Gloucester, to see the iconic sculpture for himself, The He was met by The Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams, Dean of Guildford, Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironworks and owner of the Knife Angel, and Julie Sommerville a Guildford Mum who lost her son Daniel,  to Knife Crime in 2015. Clive also presented the Duke with a certificate acknowledging his visit on behalf of the British Ironworks Centre.

The visit of His Royal Highness coincided with a visit by Year 10 pupils from Christ’s College School attending a retreat day which was focussed on the themes and messages of the Knife Angel sculpture. Pupils reflected on the idea of peace promoted by the sculpture; considered the consequences of incidents of violent crime; and experienced a session on Emergency Aid involving learning CPR, wound care and what happens when 999 are called with tips on how to respond to questioning to give a medical team the most important information. All pupils were able to view the sculpture and share their own thoughts on how it made them feel and how effective they found it as the National Monument Against Violence and Aggression.

The final visit was to Stanhope Seta Ltd who were proud to host HRH The Duke of Gloucester, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey at their Chertsey premises to confer the Queens Award for Enterprise in the International Trade Category on the company.

Established in 1938, the family owned business specialises in the design and manufacture of laboratory test instruments for quality control applications. They design, build and export innovative test instruments worldwide with installations in over 120 countries.

The company has an active engagement with the community, supporting students of all ages with placements, apprenticeships and internships. Working with local a local charity, Seta helps to provide much needed alternative learning support for students requiring specific behavioural and/or technical development, this is performed in their workshops and is a very hands-on approach.

The Duke of Gloucester was given a guided tour of the factory and offices, meeting many of the Seta team. He was introduced to a number of Apprentices and also students from Jubilee High School whose students are participating in an Industry liaison program run by the GASP charity. The day culminated in the presentation of the award, followed by a high tea, during which presentations from Robert Mays school were given on their recent success Formula 1 in schools as England Champions. 

Giles and Martin Verity hosted the event and commented that ‘It was an amazing day for the company and one that will be remembered by all the team for many years to come. A very proud defining moment in the company’s history, and a tribute to all the team who have worked so very hard to make Stanhope Seta such a success’.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester during his visit to the Silent Pool Distillery and to present the Queens Award for Enterprise, Silent Pool Distillery Shere Road, Albury, Guildford, Surrey United Kingdom, PICTURES BY STEVE PORTER

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