Sophie, Countess of Wessex celebrated a co-op milestone with a recent visit to the Radstock Co-operative in Somerset.
She also visited Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum, one of the co-op’s charities of the year, chosen by its members.
The royal visit was part of the celebrations for the co-op’s 150th anniversary, as well as the 20th anniversary of the museum relocating to its current home in Radstock town’s victorian former Market Hall.
The Countess toured the museum accompanied by Nick Hall, its chair of trustees, and Don Morris, CEO of the Radstock Co-operative Society. She viewed an exhibition about Radstock Co-op’s history and the contribution it has made to the local community over several generations – then went on to visit the authentic co-op shop that was staffed by a museum volunteer and co-op store colleagues.
Don Morris, chief executive of the Radstock Co-op, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has visited our town centre.
“It was a great honour and privilege to be able to share with the Countess our society’s history and the integral part it and its colleagues and members, both past and present, have played in supporting the local community.”
He added: “We are proud of our heritage, which was borne of the need to support the local mining community.
“As a co-operative business, we aim to help communities thrive and prosper. To ensure that we can continue to serve Radstock town through the delivery of a first-class shopping experience, we have submitted plans to redevelop the site which is home to the Radco superstore to include retail units, residential housing and office space with communal areas and open spaces.
“We were delighted to be able to share our plans of the proposed site with the Countess during her visit.”