BIG WELCOME: Cllr Sandra Moorhouse introduces the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham to The Hub’s Vicky Taylor
BIG WELCOME: Cllr Sandra Moorhouse introduces the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham to The Hub’s Vicky Taylor

THE queen’s representative for County Durham has given her seal of approval to the work being done by two of Barnard Castle’s community venues.

Barnard Castle town councillor Sandra Moorhouse hosted a visit by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowden, last week. Mrs Snowden was making a return visit to The Witham and also asked to visit The Hub while she was in town.

The centre manager at The Witham, Susan Coffer, said: “It is a real honour to have Mrs Snowden visit in her capacity of Lord Lieutenant. It shows her continued support for The Witham and it has given us an opportunity to show Mrs Snowden some of the work we have done since her last visit.”

Following a tour of the building when there was chance for her to look at the repair work taking place, Mrs Snowden met staff and volunteers. Mrs Snowden said: “Barnard Castle is lucky to have The Witham – it is important to the quality of life to both the town and to the town’s inhabitants. It is through your hard work and dedication that The Witham continues.”

Waiting to greet Ms Snowdown at The Hub was event and reception manager Vicky Taylor, who was joined by many of the centre’s staff.

Mrs Taylor said: “It is my understanding that Mrs Snowden specifically asked to visit us.

“It is a real tribute to the work that goes off here.”

In explaining her ceremonial role, Mrs Snowden said: “A lord lieutenant s the Queen’s personal representative in each county of the United Kingdom. In effect I am the Queen’s eyes and ears. King Henry VIII first appointed lord lieutenants in the 1540s and historically each lieutenant was responsible for organising the county’s militia.”

Mrs Snowden added: “There is no uniform for a female lord lieutenant, but there is a badge which can be worn on ceremonial occasions.”

Having met the staff and learning about their roles, Mrs Snowden was taken on a tour of the facilities at The Hub, including the drama studio, performance space, and the music studios where some of the performers for the Big Summer Party were rehearsing.

She also saw a dance class in action. She then tucked into a buffet lunch with much of the produce having been grown in The Hub’s vegetable garden.