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1934: Duke and Duchess of Kent journey through Gornal.
On 29 November 1934, the Duke of Kent married Princess Marina at Westminster Abbey.
Part of their honeymoon was spent at The Earl of Dudley's Himley Hall.
Travelling from London via Great Western Railway to Birmingham and thence by limousine, the Royal procession passed along the Himley Road, Gornal Wood enroute to Himley.
The following account from the Dudley Chronical in 1934, shows the great excitment this visit caused.
SCENES AT GORNAL WOOD
Leaving Dudley behind, with its last tribute, the words "Good Luck" in gas flames opposite the last house in the Dudley part of Himley Road, the Duke and Duchess crossed the boundary for the last mile and a half through Gornal.
Himley Road, Gornal Wood, has probably never been so brightly illuminated, nor known such large and eager crowds as had gathered, well over an hour before the Royal couple were due. Extra gas lamps had been installed at twenty-yard Intervals along both sides of the road, necessitating mains specially laid for the occasion, and at the road Junction flags were hung across the road and masses of bunting and gaily coloured lights were displayed in the windows of the buildings facing the road, and on the walls. By seven o'clock the crowd numbered well over 3000, and was closely packed at the Bull's Head junction and at the top of the hill, while it was three or four deep on both sides of the road for most of the distance between.
The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council, (Councillor J. Hemmings, J.P., and Councillor G. Mills) and other Councillors and officials arrived at about seven o'clock and took up their places by the roadside, but they had practically half an hour to wait. When the Royal couple arrived they were given an enthusiastic welcome. Staid business men waving their hats, among handkerchiefs of women and girls. Both the Duke and Duchess waved back, though the latter showed signs of an excusable fatigue after her long day.
The Royal couple pictured at Himley Hall in 1934.
The couple stayed at Himley for several days, the Duke had been a regular visitor to the Earl's residence in the past.
The Duke was killed in 1942 while on active sevice with the RAF.
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