A hop and a skip for Prince Edward

Prince Edward leaves the Town Hall and talks to 8 yr old Denim Wilcox, 2nd from right
Prince Edward leaves the Town Hall and talks to 8 yr old Denim Wilcox, 2nd from right
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PRINCE Edward skipped to it and got involved in a Sheffield attempt at setting a world record in hopscotch during a visit to the city.

The Earl of Wessex, the Queen’s youngest son, took time out from meeting city leaders and dignitaries to chat to a group of youngsters from Ellesmere Children’s Centre in Burngreave yesterday afternoon.

The children, aged four and five, were taking part in a mass attempt to play the world’s fastest game of hopscotch outside the Town Hall.

The Earl, fresh from lunch with the Lord Mayor Sylvia Dunkley, council chief executive John Mothersole and Lord Lieutenant David Moody, even tossed the beanbag for four-year-old Amari Green as she skipped and hopped along a specially marked out grid.

Amari didn’t manage the record, which stands at just under one minute and two seconds, but was thrilled to have met Prince Edward.

Sharon Curtis, manager of Ellesmere Children’s Centre, said: “We thought it was lovely that Prince Edward took the time to come and talk to us.

“He was very charming and very engaged with the children. It’s just a shame we couldn’t persuade him to have a go at the hopscotch! The children were very excited to meet him. After the excitement of the Royal Wedding it was nice for them to meet an actual Royal.”

Before meeting the children the Earl watched presentations from the marketing Sheffield initiative and the Local Enterprise Partnership for the city.

He also found out more about the new Sevenstone new retail quarter, and met four groups currently working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Coun Dunkley told The Star: “Prince Edward was very easy to talk to. We saw several presentations before enjoying a light lunch.”

Whilst in town Prince Edward also officially opened the Church Army’s new headquarters in Sheffield, following their relocation from London.

The Earl toured the charity’s recently renovated £2m Wilson Carlile Centre on Cavendish Street, which has been transformed into a 30-bed conference centre, chapel, library and cafe.

Church Army chief executive Mark Russell, in a speech to the Earl and other guests, said: “We are so grateful to him for being here today.

“We draw such encouragement from his support. This new centre will make a real difference to our work.”