Royal couple visit Larne

The Duke and Duchess of Kent visited Larne in May 1968 to officially open Lynn Social Centre and Tower Pool.

They were welcomed to the borough by Larne mayor Alderman Hugh McKay, fellow aldermen and councillors.

A bomb alert telephoned to the “Belfast Telegraph” newspaper failed to deter the royal visitors.

They were accompanied to Lynn Social Centre by the mayor, Minister for Home Affairs William Craig and his wife.

At Lynn Social Centre, they met local residents before Mrs Craig made a presentation of a length of Donegal tweed to the duchess on the committee’s behalf.

The party proceeded to the McNeill Hotel for lunch.

Afterwards, it was onwards to the Tower Pool where they were greeted by Alderman Alex Marrs, chairman of the pool committee.

At the opening ceremony, the Duke spoke of the many children who drown each year because they cannot swim.

He added: “We have come a long way since public baths meant a wash house.”

Since the Tower Pool opened the previous year, it had been used by 15,000 adult and 4,000 child bathers each month. A commemorative plaque was unveiled.