The two spades

The Prince of Wales visited the Almshouses on the 10th July 1934 and planted an oak tree which still thrives. He used the spade (left) which is signed “Edward” on the handle. The spade (right) was used by the Duke of Gloucester during his visit in 1988. On that occasion he was presented with the first of 500 prints of the Almshouses, commissioned that year to raise money to restore the Pumphouse.

On the same day the Prince of Wales had luncheon at Arbury, visited the Hall and Phillips hat factory in Nuneaton, and declared the new Swinnerton School in Avenue Road, Nuneaton, open.

The Duke of Kent paid a surprise visit to the Almshouses on May 4th 2016. He was accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Tim Cox and he met Governors, Residents and Almshouses Scheme Manager. It was a happy and relaxed visit with the Duke later writing to express his appreciation. This was the third occasion on which a member of the Royal family had visited the Elizabethan-style building constructed in 1840. Rotarian Ken Whitehead was on hand to record the event for which the Trust is most grateful.

The fourth Royal visit took place in February 2020 with a visit by HRH Prince Charles later to become King Charles III.

A fifth visit was made by Sophie, Countess of Wessex on Armistice Day in 2021.

Now the Duchess of Edinburgh, she arrived at the Almshouses to be greeted by a number of dignatories and was presented with a posy of white flowers by the daughter  of our Scheme Manager. After having a few words with residents the Duchess joined the procession and walked to the Cenotaph for the service of remembrance.