20 SEPTEMBER 1989: A BUSY DAY FOR PRINCESS DIANA IN LIVERPOOL: KEYNOTE SPEECH BARNARDOS WOOLTON, BIRKDALE SCHOOL FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED & TOXTETH OPENING OF THE FRIENDSHIP HOUSE!

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On the 20th of September 1989, Princess Diana visited Liverpool and had a full schedule of events lined up. At her first stop of the day she visited the Birkdale School for the Hearing Impaired and sat in on one of the classes during an English GCSE lession. She was, upon arrival, presented with flowers from pupil, Kathy Woden, below.imageimage Following this, the Principal, Mrs Eileen Tomkinson, escorted the Princess around the School.
image The Princess met a group of children reading in the library, and heard a group of children singing and playing tuned percussion instruments. She also met Senior School pupils being taught English and Home Economics lessons.
image Some former pupils came back to the School to meet the Princess as well as many parents and invited guests. After her tour, Diana signed the Visitor’s Book, and she received a video and book about the work of the School from the Chairman of the Governors, Mr Peter Cowan. After her visit, there were fun and games in the afternoon for the children with a magic show given by Tony Wright, and there was a party in the evening. It was a day both staff and pupils will remember.
imageAs she was leaving the school, she spotted a group of disabled youngsters, above, waiting to see her, and ordered her limousine to stop; She promptly alighted and greeted them, brushing the hair out of one little girl’s eyes, above.
Diana next gave an emphatic speech at Barnardo’s in Woolton where she strongly defended the rights of the mentally impaired. The news of the day, above at top, from the Liverpool Echo, talks of her “steelier” side on display during this impassioned, and rarely heard of, speech.
imageHer last stop of the day was an impromptu walkabout in Falkner Square in the Toxteth area of Liverpool. imageThere, she opened the Friendship House for the Liverpool Housing Trust, above, which was providing sheltered flats for 32 people drawn from the City’s racial minorities.

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