Towns’ joy at Royal visit

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As Corby prepares for the Queen’s upcoming visit in June we take a look back to her visit to the town 30 years ago.

The monarch visited the town on November 12, 1982, to officially name the Queen Elizabeth School in her mother’s honour.

Flag-waving supporters in the forecourt of Kettering train station cheered as the Queen stepped off the Royal train on platform two. Wren Spinney School pupil Melanie Woods, eight at the time, curtseyed and handed the Queen a basket of white and cream freesias and lemon roses.

Thousands of excited children, released from their classrooms for the visit, lined the streets waving Union flags as the Royal Rolls-Royce drove slowly through the town to Corby.

Police erected two miles of barriers along the Queen’s route through Corby and heavy lorries were kept out of the town. A quarter-mile section of Oakley Road up to the school was also shut to traffic from the early morning.

Some Corby schools closed so pupils could experience the Royal visit, but only two pupils from each form were let out from Our Lady and Pope John Comprehensive, while their classmates carried on working as normal.

Hundreds of children gave a rousing cheer as the Queen arrived at the Queen Elizabeth School.

Two members of the Queen Elizabeth detachment of the Corby Army Cadet Force, Cpl Ian Baillie, then 16, and Lance Cpl Thomas Mooney, then 15, raised the Royal Standard and saluted.

After formal introductions to Corby Council chairman Jim Thomson and chief executive Duncan Hall and their wives, it was the pupils’ turn.

Twins Lynn and Donna Pitt, 12 at the time, presented posies they had picked from their home on The Nook, Corby, to Her Majesty.

Deborah Bell, who was 14, gave the Queen two yellow roses as she passed them on her way into the school.

But there was a special moment for pupil Joanne Brown when the monarch stopped to speak to her.

She told the Evening Telegraph: “She was really lovely and very nice.”

But one of the school’s second year pupils missed the chance to be in the assembly hall for the Queen’s visit when he let off a stink bomb in the cloakroom.

The bomb went off shortly before the Queen’s visit but the school was odour-free by the time she arrived.

Were you that pupil? Get in touch with the Evening Telegraph by emailing et.newsdesk@northantsnews.co.uk or calling 01536 506158.