The Prince of Wales joined the Canal & River Trust this week to learn how Stoke-on-Trent's historic canals are cared for and to meet some of the dedicated volunteers working to protect the area's industrial heritage.
The day saw His Royal Highness visit Etruria Industrial Museum to meet some of the volunteers involved in caring for the only operational steam-driven potters' mill in the world. The Royal party then moved outside onto the towpath to meet a group of young volunteers who are taking part in a personal development programme which sees them working with the Trust to improve the city's canals. The six-month course, part of the EU-funded Green & Blue Futures, gives 16 to 24 year olds the opportunity to take part in canal-based practical conservation work and team building activities. The programme is part of Step Up To Serve - a national campaign launched by The Prince to double the number of young people involved in social action by 2020.
From Etruria, The Prince boarded the boat Lindsay for a 30 minute cruise on the Trent & Mersey Canal to Middleport where he officially opened the Middleport Pottery following its £9m regeneration. Whilst on board the Trust's chairman Tony Hales and chief executive Richard Parry explained how the charity cares for the city's canals and how canals can play an important part in future regeneration plans.