Royal visit to flood hit Calder Valley

Prince Andrew with vounteers at the Town Hall, Todmorden.
Prince Andrew with vounteers at the Town Hall, Todmorden.

The Duke of York arrived in Todmorden as part of a visit to flood-hit communities in Yorkshire.

His tour was hampered in the morning, when a planned start in the town was scuppered by poor weather preventing his helicopter from landing.

But making time for the town later in the afternoon, the prince visited a number of spots in the town.

His first stop was the Cycle Factory, at Der Street, which fell victim to a callous burglary shortly after being hit by the Boxing Day floods.

The prince then visited resident Donna Williams at her home in Sanworth Street, before going to the Hippodrome Theatre and the Town Hall.

It was recently announced that the Hippodrome Theatre will have to close for a number of months while vital repairs are carried out.

Asked about what he found in his tour of Yorkshire, he said: “Shock and devastation.”

He said: “It’s been a very difficult time but I get a sense that the community has pulled together in a way that is really encouraging.

“The question is whether or not this is a regular occurrence or whether this is a one-off. And nobody can answer that question.

“But it’s a fact that the community has pulled together.”

Andrew said it had been “a very interesting lesson to me in what the dynamics are in a flood”.