A pair of leading Huntingdonshire firms welcomed a royal visitor to celebrate their respective anniversaries.

The Duke of Kent with one of Cellbond's crash test dummies. Picture: MARK HOLMESThe Duke of Kent with one of Cellbond's crash test dummies. Picture: MARK HOLMES

St Ives-based 42 Technology and Cellbond, based in Huntingdon, were visited by the Duke of Kent on Tuesday to celebrate their success and their 20 and 30-year anniversaries respectively.

The duke was joined for the day by Julie Spence, the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, and enjoyed tours of both firms, as well as demonstrations.

Dr Jon Spratley, managing director at 42 Technology, an engineering consultancy, said: "We were delighted to welcome the Duke of Kent to 42 Technology, and to have the opportunity to explain the pragmatic approach we take when developing new ideas and concepts for clients, and then bringing them to market.

"It was a real pleasure to demonstrate some of our technology innovations and to introduce the duke to the team who have helped us to build an exceptionally strong client list of major UK and international blue-chip companies, as well as many exciting start-ups and SMEs."

The Duke of Kent is given a demonstration at 42 Technology. Picture: DAVID JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHICThe Duke of Kent is given a demonstration at 42 Technology. Picture: DAVID JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHIC

On his visit to Cellbond, a manufacturer of crash test barriers and crash test dummies, the duke met staff from across the business as well as the newly-elected mayor of Huntingdon, Councillor Steve McAdam.

Paul Cope and head of sales and marketing, Helen Dighton, took the duke on a tour of the Cellbond crash test dummy laboratory. Engineering staff and apprentices were on hand to explain their role in the design, development, engineering, moulding and manufacture of innovative products used by automotive manufacturers and organisations such as Euro NCAP to test vehicle and pedestrian safety world-wide.

Mr Cope said: "It was an honour to welcome his royal highness to Cellbond to celebrate the international success of the business, and to mark the end of our 30th anniversary year. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to talk about our products which contribute to vehicle occupant safety across the globe, and to recognise the efforts of our staff who play such a vital role in Cellbond's success."

To cap the day, the duke visited the Macmillan Woodlands Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to carry out an official opening.

Howard Biddle with the Duke of Kent. Picture: DAVID JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHICHoward Biddle with the Duke of Kent. Picture: DAVID JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHIC

The £2.4million centre opened to patients in August 2017, delivering first-class information, support and treatment for local people with cancer. The expanded and refurbished centre includes a Macmillan information and support service, a spacious waiting room, several consulting rooms for increased privacy and large treatment bays.

The duke was shown around the centre, meeting staff, patients and donors who supported the original fundraising appeal. In addition, he was shown around the newly-created garden area which was recently transformed by a team from local charity the Malcolm Whales Foundation. The team, made up of young people and local business representatives, turned a gravel patch into an inviting and tranquil space for patients and staff to use.