Forty years ago today, on the 22nd March 1981 at 6.00pm New Horizons was commissioned just below Posset Bridge in Marple by HRH the Prince of Wales K.G.
The digest below is taken from the original programme of the day, in the language of the time.
"On arrival at Posset Bridge HRH was presented to the Mayor of Stockport by the Lord Lieutenant. In turn, The Mayoress (Gwen Bayley), The Chief Executive of Stockport ( Mr A.L. Wilson) and Mrs Wilson, The M.P. for Hazel Grove (Tom Arnold) and the Leader of Stockport MBC (Cllr J. Lloyd) and Mrs Lloyd were all presented.
HRH escorted by the Mayor proceeded down the steps to the towpath where he was presented to The Chairman of British Waterways Board (Sir Frank Price).
Along the towpath it is noted that a number of disabled people in wheelchairs were to be present.
HRH was invited to board the boat where he was presented to the Chairman of the Mayor’s Charity Fund Appeal Committee ( Mr Eric Evans), the Chairman of Coles Morton Marine Ltd ( Mr Morton Coles) The Mayor’s Chaplain ( Rev N. Brunning) and Mrs M Evans.
HRH was piped aboard by members of the Stockport and District Sea Cadet Corps.
Mrs Evans invited HRH to commission New Horizons, which he did by breaking a bottle of Champagne on the side of the boat. Following which the Mayor’s Chaplain offered dedicatory prayers.
Following the ceremony HRH made and inspection of the boat and informally met people who had contributed to her manufacture and design.
Following the commissioning HRH accompanied by the Mayor and the Lord Lieutenant walked through the Memorial Park to the Old Folks Hall.
The route from the boat to the hall was lined by members of Scout and guide groups from the borough of Stockport. Members of the Air Training Corps and the Army Cadet Force.
In the hall an exhibition had been assembled covering 6 major activities, Sport, Self – Help, Mentally Handicapped, Children, Outdoor Activities and Communication.
On arrival at the Old Folks Hall HRH was presented to the Chairman, Social Services Committee SMBC (Cllr J.B. Leck) and Mrs Leck, the Director of Social Services, SMBC, (Mr. G. Creighton) and Mrs Creighton.
Inside the hall HRH signed two photographic portraits and unveiled a plaque which is now on board New Horizons. Inside the hall to witness this were approximately 100 people who had been involved with the Mayor’s Charity Appeal."
The photos below are the official photos of the commissioning taken by Alan Russell.
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