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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021

Photographs from the opening of County Hall on 14 October 1963

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visited Durham on 14 October 1963 to open the newly completed County Hall at Aykley Heads.

Prince Philip taking the salute from soldiers of the 8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, outside County Hall, Durham, October 1963 (D/DLI 2/8/14(213))

It was originally intended that both Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip would attend, but the Queen was unable to be present (Prince Edward was born in March 1964).  

Prince Philip inspected men of the 8th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry, before unveiling a plaque in the Council Chamber. He is seen here talking to Bugle-Major Terence Tierney.

Duke of Edinburgh, talking to Bugle-Major Terence Tierney, 8th Battalion, DLI, outside County Hall, Durham, October 1963 (D/DLI 2/8/14(215))

The official tour included a visit to the new archive search room on the lower ground floor, pictured below.

H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh in the Record Office Searchroom, 1963 (CC/X 171/3)

At the end of the ceremony Prince Philip was presented with a Durham carpet as a gift and departed by helicopter from the County Hall grounds.

View of the new county hall under construction, 1961 (CC/PLANNING 851)

Construction work for the new county hall began on site in November 1959. The severe winter of 1962-3 delayed completion and staff and committees eventually moved into the building one floor at a time, as each floor was completed, between February and June 1963. This photograph is thought to show the building during construction in autumn 1961.

Photographs ref D/DLI 2/8/14(213) and D/DLI 2/8/14(215) reproduced by kind permission of the Trustees of the former DLI.

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