Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 14:54 UK

Queen visits baked bean factory

The Royal visit to Wigan marks the 50th anniversary of British baked beans

The Queen received dozens of tins of beans when she visited a Greater Manchester town to mark the 50th anniversary of the British baked bean.

Her Majesty was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh to visit the Heinz factory in Wigan on Thursday.

The Queen was also presented with a photograph of her mother, who visited in June 1959, by Malcolm Hull, 62, the factory's longest-serving employee.

As part of her visit to the region, she opened £83m Leigh Sports Village.

Damian Costello, 39, a quality auditor at the Heinz factory in Kitt Green, said: "I don't know if the Queen eats baked beans on toast, but she should try it back at Buckingham Palace now she has a hamper full."

'Worked hard'

After visiting the factory, of 1,200 workers, and listening to the Trinity Girls band, the only all-female brass group in England, she headed to the Leigh Sports Village.

There, she opened the sports complex, which has 22 sites catering for different types of sport across the town.

The complex also includes a 10,000-seat stadium with a 400m running track, floodlit grass and artificial pitches, a 150-bedroom four-star hotel and leisure and specialist retail facilities including a cinema, restaurants, bars and a tenpin bowling alley.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said: "We have worked hard over several years to realise a development that now stands as a model for the rest of the country - a credit to the town, to the borough and to everybody who has been involved in the project."

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Sport and recreation centre opens
02 Jan 08 |  Manchester

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