His Royal Highness The Duke, accompanied by HM Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Rear Admiral Iain Henderson CB CBE DL, was welcomed to Melrose Gardens by Councillor Linda Batty, Mayor of Gosport and Consort; Councillor Graham Burgess, Chairman of Hampshire County Council; Hon Alderman Don Lucas, Chairman of Trustees, Thorngate Churcher Trust, Mrs Doreen Dodd the Deputy Chairman Trustees and Anne Taylor, Trust Chief Executive.
During his visit, The Duke met and talked with Thorngate Churcher Trust Trustees; Jill Francis, Thorngate Living's Housing and Support Manager and John Bloomfield, Project Architect, Bloomfield Parker Architects. He also spent time chatting informally with residents and was introduced to Doug and Pauline Potter who have just moved in to one of the new homes.
Pictured above is HRH The Duke of Gloucester, talking with Doug and Pauline Potter about their new home in Lucas Court.
After discussing the new homes with project funders, including Hugh Inman of the Bradbury Foundation, The Duke unveiled a plaque marking his official opening of the new development. The plaque also makes special mention of this year's 150th anniversary of Thorngate Churcher Trust.
2018 is the 150th anniversary of the Gosport based charity, which has provided housing and care for those in need since 1868. This celebratory year has started with the completion of the new architect-designed housing development which provides ten new homes and a modern multi-purpose residents’ lounge and function suite - The Bradbury Lounge, named after the scheme’s principal donor, The Bradbury Foundation.
Anne Taylor, Thorngate Churcher Trust’s CEO said at the opening:
“We are all thrilled at the completion and official opening of Lucas Court. The Trust celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and the new homes show we are as committed to our charitable mission now as the founders were all those years ago.
“Not surprisingly, with our long waiting lists, all the new homes are already occupied. And we have two further developments underway to provide Thorngate Living in a further four new flats.”