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Duke of Wellington helps mark Whitchurch housing scheme's 25th anniversary
THE Duke of Wellington took tea at a supported housing scheme to help celebrate its 25th anniversary.
Seeviours Court, in Whitchurch, was officially opened in 1987 by the late Duchess of Wellington, and residents thought it fitting to invite her husband the Duke over for a cup of tea to mark the home’s birthday. Bunting was put up and residents gathered in the common room to await their special guest, who was joined by North West Hampshire MP Sir George Young.
Luke Bingham, regional director at Sovereign, which runs the home, gave a speech at the event, reminding residents of the events of 1987, including the Great Storm. He added: “We beat the Americans in the Ryder Cup and, of course, there were two major construction projects: the first tunnelling machines commenced work on the Channel Tunnel and Seeviours Court was officially opened.”
The 97-year-old Duke recalled his late wife opening the sheltered housing scheme, which is for over 55-year-olds, and added: “I am so pleased to be here. I am just so very sorry that she cannot be here to see the result of her opening.
“It is good to see the marvellous work going on here and I am sure in another 25 years there will be another celebration of this sort and I hope that some of you will be here.”
Sir George said: “As a former housing minister, I know the importance of investment by social housing landlords like Sovereign to build more schemes like this.”
Following a toast to the next 25 years, The Duke cut a celebratory cake, accompanied by Seeviours Court’s eldest resident, 96-year-old Ivy Martin.
The Duke then returned to his home at Stratfield Saye.