His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was so ‘at home’ during a tour of the Peak District in November 1958 that he stayed in the area longer than expected.
The High Peak News of November 28, 1958, reported: “The visit to North Derbyshire was an occasion that will long be remembered by those who were lucky enough to see Prince Philip, and particularly by those to whom he spoke.
“The accent was on informality, and a obviously interested royal visitor carried out an extremely heavy programme with a speed and enthusiasm that amazed those who accompanied him along the route.”
Within minutes of his Friday morning arrival on board the Royal train at Buxton Station, Prince Philip was speeding over Long Hill to the Open Country Pursuits Centre at White Hall.
During a tour of the facility he chatted outside with some of the youngsters who were taking courses at the centre, and inspected a party of campers who were receiving instruction.
His Royal Highness then headed to Combs village, where the party transferred to Land Rovers for the ascent to Castle Naze to watch schoolchildren receiving instruction in the art of rock climbing, before proceeding to the reservoir to chat to another party of youngsters who were braving the icy waters.
Business came to a standstill in Chapel-en-le-Frith as everyone lined the pavements to watch Prince Philip drive through the town on his way to Ferodo works, where he unveiled a plaque at the entrance to a new research building.
“Throughout his tour of the research building, Prince Philip showed a keen interest in all the experiments, and his questions and, in one instance, his suggestion, revealed a sound knowledge of the various aspects of the works,” reported the High Peak News.
“In the Woven Materials Laboratory, worker Peter Mellor, of Crossings Road, Chapel-en-le-Frith, was preparing emulsions when the Royal visitor approached and asked ‘Are you cooking something for dinner?’
“When the process was explained he asked one or two technical questions before passing on to another section.”
A range of other processes were demonstrated during the inspection, which concluded with a quick look at the Ferodo test fleet of vehicles.
The tour itself took half an hour longer than the time allotted because Prince Philip had taken such a tremendous interest in every aspect of the work in progress.