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Stroll in the park as Earl of Forfar tackles walking rugby in Angus visit

The Earl of Forfar took part in walking rugby at Strathmore Community Rugby Trust. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.
The Earl of Forfar took part in walking rugby at Strathmore Community Rugby Trust. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

The Earl of Forfar got to grips with rugby and boatbuilding on his latest visit to his namesake town.

On Thursday Prince Edward dropped in on Forfar for the third time since he was gifted the ancient title in 2019.

It was a 55th birthday present from The Queen to her youngest son and brought the Earldom back after a gap of three centuries.

Earl of Forfar walking rugby
The Earl of Forfar gets to grips with walking rugby. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

He was not accompanied by Sophie, Countess of Forfar as had been the case on previous visits in 2019 and last year.

Touch down at Lochside

The Earl landed by helicopter beside Forfar Loch.

He made the short walk to Inchmacoble Park, home to Strathmore Community Rugby Trust.

In 2020 he became the charity’s Royal patron.

He was greeted by Angus Deputy Lieutenant Robina Addison and Trust founder and chairman Stuart Gray.

Strathmore Community Rugby Trust
The Earl gets ready for action on the Inchmacoble Park pitch. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

And he quickly threw himself into a game of walking rugby.

Trust founder and chairman Stuart said: “We were greatly honoured to have his Royal Highness visit the Trust again, this time in his role as our Royal patron as we mark five years promoting and aiding health and wellbeing for all ages through our rugby-based projects.”

Forfar walking rugby
The Earl in action on the Strathmore pitch. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

The trust offers rugby for autistic youngsters and their siblings, unified rugby for adults and youths with disabilities and a Rugby Academy for senior school pupils.

Thanks to all involved, including our funders and sponsors as well as our partners Strathmore RFC, Brechin RFC, Scottish Rugby ands Scottish Rugby League for their continuing support,” said Stuart.

“We’re keen to speak to potential sponsors about projects we plan to launch in the coming months.

Strathmore Community Rugby Trust
Angus Deputy Lieutenant Robina Addison joined in the walking rugby game. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

Skiff progress

The Earl made the short walk to Strathmore Cricket Club where a community skiff is well under construction.

The joint project involves Forfar Rotary Club, the town Sailing Club and Forfar Men’s Shed.

Earl of Forfar visits skiff project
The Earl speaks to skiff project lead Tony Walker (right) and Forfar Rotary president Tim Hale. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

It is to be named after popular town plumber Greg Luckhurst, who died in 2021 at the age of just 45.

Greg’s mother, Glenis, and in-laws Graham McFarlane and Jeannette Saquet met the Earl.

And a second skiff kit has been bought to eventually having rowing boat races on the mile-long loch.

Forfar skiff project
The serial number plate for the Forfar skiff.

The Earl installed the serial number plate UK 265 in the 22-foot rowing boat

It is due for completion this summer.

Skiff project lead Tony Walker of Forfar Sailing Club said: “It was the Earl who said he wanted to come to see the skiff so we are absolutely delighted he has shown an interest.

Earl of Forfar skiff project visit
Jim Mitchell (left) and Tony Walker talk to the Earl about the rowing boat.

“This is just the start of a project to bring rowing back to Forfar Loch after about 50 years.

“The original club was a rowing and sailing club and there is a huge interest in skiff rowing.”

Forfar Rotary president Tim Hale added: “We feel very privileged to have the Earl here today.

“He took a great interest in the skiff.

“And hopefully he can come back, see it on the water and perhaps even go rowing in it himself.”

Ancient title

The Earldom of Forfar was created in 1661 and became extinct as a title in 1715 when the second Earl died leaving no children.

Archibald Douglas, the first Earl of Forfar, was a Scottish peer.

He was the second son and youngest child of Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus and 1st Earl of Ormond.

The second Earl of Forfar was also called Archibald Douglas, the only son of the first Earl.

He died on December 8 1715 at the Battle of Sheriffmuir aged 23.

Prince Edward and Sophie now use the Earl and Countess of Forfar titles on visits north of the border.

The Forfar stop was part of a busy Royal week in Scotland which has also seen the 96-year-old Queen appear in public at Holyrood Palace.

More pictures by Courier photographer Gareth Jennings of the Earl’s visit.

Earl of Forfar
The Royal helicopter touches down beside Forfar Loch.
Walking rugby
Angus Deputy Lieutenant Robina Addison makes a pass during the walking rugby game.
Forfar skiff project
Tony Walker explains the skiff construction to the Earl.
Earl of Forfar visit
The Earl installs the serial number in the hull of the rowing boat.
Forfar Sailing Club Commodore Mark Kimber, Jim Mitchell and skiff lead Tony Walker.
Strathmore Community Rugby Trust
On-field walking rugby action.

 

 

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