Prince Charles visits Aberystwyth flood victims and rescue crews

  • 9 July 2012
  • From the section Wales

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have visited Aberystwyth to meet the victims of June's floods.

The royal couple also met emergency services personnel who rescued over 150 people in Ceredigion.

Earlier in the day, they visited the newly crowned city of St Asaph in Denbighshire, and opened Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, Conwy Valley.

They also met Prince William at RAF Valley, Anglesey. The visit was part the couple's four-day tour of Wales.

Last week, Prince Charles made a donation to the fund to help the flood victims ahead of his four-day summer tour of Wales which began on Monday.

More than a month's worth of rain fell in Ceredigion on 8 and 9 June.

Image caption Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall speak to police and firefighters

Villages including Talybont, Dol-y-bont, Penrhyncoch and Llandre were affected, as well as areas of Aberystwyth.

The royal couple met about 90 people caught up in the floods including victims, emergency personnel and other helpers at Ceredigion council offices in Aberystwyth.

The royal couple spent nearly 90 minutes chatting to people at the gathering.

The prince met flood victims and neighbours Mick and Jenny Fothergill, Maurice Jones and Bill Gardener from Talybont. They said the prince was "very pleasant" and showed an interest in their plight.

Image caption The owner of Riverside caravan park near Llandre, says he has spent £100,000 on the clean up

Ceredigion council says the Leader's Appeal Fund for flood victims now stands £69,000 with more money yet to be received.

The prince and duchess arrived in Aberystwyth after an earlier visit to RAF Valley, where his son recently qualified as a search and rescue captain.

Prince Charles met the station commander and search and rescue crews during the visit.

One crew was called out on an emergency to a man taken ill on hills near Barmouth but Prince William remained on site.

Prince Charles was shown one of the Sea King helicopters and the operations room.

The Queen visited Prince William at the base in April last year where he told his grandmother about his work in search and rescue.

Image caption Prince William gave his father a tour at RAF Valley, Anglesey, on Monday

Earlier, the couple met cookery school students and craftsmen at the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre's restored 18th Century farm buildings.

Their first stop of the day was to attend a thanksgiving service in St Asaph to celebrate its city status.

They also met members of the diocese of St Asaph and saw some of the work that takes place.

Dewi Owens, a city and county councillor who was among the crowd, said it was "fantastic" to have the royal couple visiting.

"We're very, very pleased to be having them here. Everyone in St Asaph really appreciates it."

The royal couple were greeted by music from the Denbighshire County Brass Band, which is made up of eight to 15-year-olds.

Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in Tal y Cafn was the second stop where they were greeted by a crowd of around 200 people.

They met some of those who will benefit from the £6.5m centre which aims to offer the best in local and Welsh food.

The complex includes a farm shop, tea room and restaurant, as well as a cookery school and a dairy which makes cheese, ice cream and yoghurt from local milk.

Image caption Finishing touches put to the food centre before its official opening

The duchess took her turn at making tortellini with hand-made pasta, and local crab, as part of a class with the Women's Institute and women's organisation Merched y Wawr.

She said that the pasta was "a bit sticky" after she'd finished with it.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said: "Promoting Welsh food and local sourcing is a key theme for this year's summer visit to Wales by the Prince of Wales and the duchess.

"They are both keen to support Welsh food and Welsh-run family firms."

Prince Charles's other tour engagements include Brecon Cathedral, Powys, on Tuesday, a food market in Aberaeron, Ceredigion, on Wednesday and the Felinfoel Brewery, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, on Thursday.

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