Laughter at Royal visit to Preston

Forty years ago this week Prince Philip paid a flying visit to Lancashire... piloting his own helicopter into Preston for an official tour of projects in the city

By Mike Hill
Friday, 22nd March 2019, 1:25 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 2:28 pm
Teresa Wilson serves Prince Philip a flat pint in 1979 at Preston Rehabilitation Centre, Dovedale Avenu, Ingol
Teresa Wilson serves Prince Philip a flat pint in 1979 at Preston Rehabilitation Centre, Dovedale Avenu, Ingol

The Duke of Edinburgh stepped behind the pumps to give a barmaid a lesson in pulling a pint on a visit to Preston in March 1979.

The light-hearted moment happened as he officially opened the Willing Hands bar, part of the city’s employment rehabilitation centre, in Dovedale Avenue, Ingol. Prince Philip took one look at Teresa Wilson’s efforts and joked, “Have you done this sort of thing before?”

When Teresda, of Ingol, replied, “No,. sir”the royal visitor replied, “I can tell, you haven’t put a head on it.” Then he leaned over the 24-year-old and asked a group of drinkers, “You’ve got what you want have you?”

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Prince Philip at the opening of Preston Polytechnic library in March 1979

Earlier the Prince had landed one of the Queen’s Wessex helicopters in the grounds of the centre. After touring the facility he headed into Preston city centre where he was forced to fend of the amorous approaches of a middle aged woman.

As he walked into Preston Polytechnic the grey-haired woman stepped out of the crowd and tried to give him a kiss on the cheek. But the Prince shrugged her aside and quickly regained his composure to fulfil his engagement and formally open the polytechnic’s library.

A threatened demonstration by protesters, angry that £34,000 had been spent on the royal visit despite the polytechnic’s need for a new nursery, failed to materialise. Instead crowds of flag-waving students greeted Philip has arrived on the campus .

He then wrapped up his day in Lancashire with a trip to Martin Mere wildfowl sanctuary stopping by the roadside to speak to waiting schoolchildren on the way.

Prince Philip signs the visitors' book at Preston Polytechnic
Prince Philip during his visit to Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre at Burscough in 1979, also pictured are Sir Peter Scott and Prof Janet Kerr