There was a party in Bourne on Friday but sadly the guest of honour Princess Anne missed out after a problem with her helicopter.
Staff at the Bourne Resource Centre in South Fen Road spent weeks getting ready for the visit by HRH The Princess Royal but were saddened to hear she couldn’t make it.
But they didn’t let that get in the way of a good party and the people who use the service were happy to tuck into a buffet that really was fit for royalty.
The centre is run by the charity Sense, which supports people who are deaf-blind, have sensory impairments or complex needs. Princess Anne is patron of the charity and staff in Bourne extended an invitation to her in November - and were delighted and surprised when she accepted so quickly.
Other dignitaries, including the Mayor of Bourne Colin Pattison, and the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis were also due to attend to see the work the centre does.
Princess Anne was due to arrive in Bourne by helicopter and travel a short distance to the centre by car. Staff were alerted early on Friday morning - a few hours before the visit - that the helicopter was “out of action”.
But Princess Anne has promised to rearrange and staff are hoping to welcome her to the centre within the next six months.
Maria Horton, director of operations for Sense, said: “Obviously we’re disappointed that Princess Anne couldn’t make it but we are looking forward to welcoming her later in the year and putting on an even better party.”
During Friday’s party, 33 service users, who are all aged between 18 and 55 and mainly come from the Bourne and the Deepings area, were able to take part in a range of therapeutic and interactive activities normally on offer at the centre.
Staff are particularly proud of the arts and crafts provision at the centre and users were looking forward to showing Princess Anne a pottery wheel and their artwork.
Proudly displayed on the walls is work in honour of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding and the Queen’s diamond jubilee.
Service user Kirsty Munsy had been selected to present the Princess with a bouquet of flowers but rather than going to waste, Kirsty enthusiastically gave them to the charity’s chief executive Gill Morbey who was thrilled.
High winds were forecast for the county on Friday and it is not known if that was the reason the Princess didn’t make it to Bourne.
She did make it to a visit to Lincolnshire Police force’s headquarters in Nettleham earlier in the day, to see the work of a team called Victim Lincs, who help victims of crime recover.