Do you remember the day the Queen came to visit Knaresborough?
Reporter Laura Hill went to meet local history enthusiast, Di Wetherell to learn more about the historic event hidden away in a Head Teachers diary.
Mrs Wetherell, made an exciting discovery when researching the former Castle School’s history.
Whilst typing up the daily ledgers found in a cupboard at what is now known as St John’s CofE Primary School, she stumbled across an entry dated August 30 1926, which said, rather matter-of-factly: “Informed that her majesty the Queen will visit tomorrow.”
Indeed the following day, August 31 1926, Queen Mary, wife of George V, and their daughter Princess Mary visited the school to view artefacts found during an archeological dig at Knaresborough Castle, which is part of the Duchy of Lancaster estate.
Mrs Wetherell said: “I think they had a local connection to Knaresborough which is why they wanted to visit the castle artifacts.”
Princess Mary married the sixth Earl of Harewood, Henry George Charles Lascelles, in 1922 and they lived part time in Goldsborough Hall.
Both the Princess and the Queen signed the logbook and the head master at the time, Mr Smith, wrote: “The Royal Party then left the school after signing the log book and passed through the rows of children from this and the other schools who had assembled at 3pm outside the door. The children cheered most heartily, and both the Queen and Princess appeared to be delighted with the reception.”
What struck Mrs Wetherell the most was the nonchalant approach the school took to the grand visit
She said: “If there was a Royal visit now we would know months in advance.
“There would lots of planning and preparation, especially for the children, but the first time it appears in the diary is just the day before they come.
“The very next day the diary gets back to reporting on the more mundane matters of school life, caretakers duties, absences and the like.”
Mrs Wetherell, a former teaching assistant at the school, has only recently started the Castle School History Project.
She said: “We are digitalisng the ledgers so that they will me more accesible for the future, that’s what I was doing when I read this.
“I didn’t know the Queen had visited Knaresborough but I imagine some people who still live in the town went out to cheer as school children.”
The Castle School History Project would like to hear from anyone who has memories of their time at Castle School.
She said: “It’s a really interesting way to research local history. We’ve found out about health epidemics and even snow days from the diaries, but would love to hear first hand accounts from ex teachers and pupils.
“At our grandparents day event a few years ago we met Jim Weatherall, whose grandson attended the school. He had gone to the school when he was a child and went on to teach there too.”
Anyone interested in helping the Castle School History Project should contact Di Wetherell by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.