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The Prince of Wales visits Middleton-in-Teesdale

23rd October 2012

The Prince of Wales brought a village to a standstill as he visited a picturesque rural community in County Durham.

His Royal Highness went to Middleton-in-Teesdale, in the North Pennines, for the third time in 10 years.

He visited the village butcher, run by Alastair McFarlane and his family, then dropped by J Raine and Son ironmonger's shop.

Hundreds lined the roads, including children from the Forest of Teesdale Primary School, which has just 13 pupils.

The Prince joined children at a youth centre in the village and took a shot at pool before trying out a racing car arcade game.

After nine-year-old Tom Eccles, who lives on a nearby farm, let the prince have a go on the racing game, the boy said: "He was all right but he was not as good as me. I was nervous of meeting him at first, but he was nice."

The centre is based at the Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (Utass) facility in the village, which has won £50,000 extra funding from The Prince's Countryside Fund (PCF).

At the auction mart, The Prince officially opened a new coffee shop and stopped to talk to farmers Robert Dalton, 65, and Peter Walton, 50. Mr Dalton, a beef and sheep farmer in the dale, said The Prince was known to love Teesdale and had often been on the grouse moors in the past, and had family links through The Queen Mother who was raised locally.

"He understands the way of life up here," Mr Dalton said.

Following the visit, butcher Mr McFarlane said The Prince was a "lovely fella".

"It's an honour to have him visit us and it's nice to know he thinks so much of the dale."