Queen to visit county's 'big cheese'

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Whisky cheese, mustard cheese and striped cheese – the Queen will be spoilt for choice when she visits an award-winning Lancashire dairy.

Singleton's Dairy in Longridge, near Preston, will welcome its royal visitor as part of her whistlestop tour of Lancashire.

Her Majesty will enjoy a grand tour of the family-run Preston Road business next Thursday before heading to Fulwood Barracks.

Brother and sister Bill Riding and Tilly Carefoot are the fourth generation of the Singleton family to run the company which began on a local farm in 1934.

Bill said: "I'll take the Queen through the factory to show her what we do and where the cheese is made.

"It'll be business as usual. We'll make Lancashire cheese, which is our speciality, and I think we'll make a Red Leicester because it's nice and bright."

The Queen will be shown part of the cheese-making process as it takes seven days to make Lancashire cheese which then goes to the maturing rooms for up to 18 months.

All the milk comes from a group of farmers from Bowland Forest and two of the suppliers are tenants of the Queen on the Duchy of Lancaster estate.

The dairy – which employs around 80 workers – has collected numerous major awards including the Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The Singleton's range includes the famous Beacon Fell Traditional Lancashire cheese which – along with Champagne and Parma ham – has EU protection.

Bill said: "We haven't decided what blended cheese we'll make, probably Derby cheese with port wine or sage."

Finally, the Queen will be shown the distribution room where hundreds of tonnes await distribution, including 60 tonnes to America every week.

Bill said: "The staff will have a huge party after the event. They've been given the afternoon off, paid."

Sister Tilly added: "They deserve it. At the end of the day, they've made this happen."