Page last updated at 19:10 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 20:10 UK

Royal couple at flood-hit railway

Prince Charles
Prince Charles was a "little bit early", the railway said

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have taken a ride on the Severn Valley Railway - a year after they planned the journey.

The Royal couple were due to go from Kidderminster, Worcs, to Bridgnorth, Shropshire, last summer, but the visit was cancelled due to flooding.

They saw some of the 3.8m repair work the railway needed after heavy rain caused landslides on the track.

The 16-mile (25.7km) line of railway was damaged in 45 places.

Prince Charles also used the visit to pay back a debt spanning 350 years.

Prince Charles, Camilla and pupils at Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire
Well-wishers lined the streets to greet the couple

A spokeswoman for the prince had said the 453.15 debt, which King Charles II failed to pay the Worcester Clothiers in 1651, was being settled as a "gesture of goodwill".

He personally repaid the sum to the current High Master of the Clothiers, Andrew Grant, at a ceremony at The Commandery museum.

John Leach, from the Severn Valley Railway, said the weather "helped enormously" on the day.

He said: "The Royal party was a little bit early. We were all ready for them, but it did allow the Prince and the Duchess to actually meet a few more people."

During their visit to Worcestershire, the Prince and Duchess also opened the new surgery at Upton upon Severn and met people affected by last summer's floods in the town.

Prince will finally pay off debt
09 Jun 08 |  Hereford/Worcs

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