Remembering Prince Philip's special visit to Trivector Systems Ltd in Sandy

The Duke of Edinburgh chose to pay a visit to the Sandy factory after purchasing one of its computers

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 4:16 pm

As the country mourns the death of The Duke of Edinburgh, residents in Chronicle country are remembering a special visit he paid to Sandy.

In February 1984, Prince Philip was delighted to meet staff at Trivector Systems Ltd and learn more about the computers they manufactured.

The Duke had arrived to unveil a plaque marking the company's new extension, and many people attended the ceremony, including members of Barclays Bank and George Hay accountants, who were involved with the business.

Prince Philip's visit. Photo: Lindsey Walker.
Prince Philip's visit. Photo: Lindsey Walker.

Lindsey Walker, daughter of the late Trivector Systems co-founder Alan Ball, told the Chronicle: "Prince Philip had purchased one of the computers, which was for his own personal use.

"He was interested in the computer and he wanted to come and see how it was made. Trivector Systems Ltd designed them and built them.

"Right up until the end, my Dad kept a photo on display of Prince Philip stood next to him.

"I would certainly be proud of him coming to look at something that I had set up from nothing. It's an achievement!"

Prince Philip's visit. Photo: Lindsey Walker.

Alan, along with co-founders Christopher Blake and Les Price, originally set up and ran the business from their homes, and hired offices before establishing their own place in Sandy.

Alan and his family used to live in Henlow, and the businessman used to look back on Prince Philip's visit fondly.

Lindsey, 56, who didn't attend the visit herself but heard the account from her father, said: "The first thing my Dad mentioned was that they were expecting him to turn up in a chauffeur-driven vehicle, but apparently he drove himself and the three or four staff members that came with him. He was driving a green Range Rover.

"He went round the building looking at things in detail and asking lots of questions.

Prince Philip's visit. Photo: Lindsey Walker.

"He was really interested - everything about the company was British from start to finish. I think he was quite pleased that the computer had been produced in this country."

She added: "Everyone said the same sort of things about him - he was quite humerous and had that sense of humour we've all been told about."

Trivector Systems Ltd was sold around 1985, and sadly, Alan died last May aged 85. However, Lindsey is very proud of her father's work, and hopes the town can remember the special visit from the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip died on April 9 at Windsor Castle aged 99.

Prince Philip's visit. Photo: Lindsey Walker.

Do you have any memories of Prince Philip visiting the Biggleswade area? Email: [email protected]