Princess Anne visited West Drayton last month, but she was not the first famous royal to make an appearance in the area.

Back in June 1986, Prince Charles, looking considerably younger, came to the borough to officially open Stockley Park.

The site was only in the infant stages of its transformation from rubbish tip into the international business hub it is today.

Stockley Park created waves at the time by becoming the first out-of-town business centre in the UK, drawing traditional city centre tenants outwards.

Over 1,300 guests joined His Royal Highness at the park's launch and were provided with a lavish lunch by Stockley plc, the developers.

The Prince toured the site, driving around what is now a nationally renowned 18 hole golf course in a small digger.

He emerged smiling from the exercise, despite having miscalculated where he should drop his load of rubble, with a block of concrete taking all by surprise when it toppled off the back of the truck.

He spoke of the employment opportunities that the park, situated between Hayes and West Drayton, would offer the local communities.

Today it employs more than 6,500 people.

He announced: "Stockley Park is an international showpiece in an international location."

The site was originally used as a giant rubbish tip for west-Londoners who used to load their barges with waste and transport it across the canal network to dump.

Prince Charles signified that the time had officially come to change the area's reputation, when he unveiled a plaque to commemorate Stockley Park's opening, and switched on a water fountain running into a series of lakes around the buildings.

Back to the present day, the site continues to thrive and is cherished by those who work there for providing a change from the normal working environment.

Cathy Ranson, who works for Hasbro, based on site, said: "I work here two days a week and, driving in, it's like a breath of fresh air.

"I think this is one of the best-tended areas in the whole of Hillingdon.

"It is a pleasure to be able to go out and sit on a bench by the lake to eat my sandwich and watch the wildlife. It makes working a pleasure.

"It is certainly a pleasant change from the other three days I spend working in my loft at home!

"What would be really nice to see there now is a restaurant offering a really high class of food, because the ambiance and surroundings would complement it perfectly."

The park is well served by public transport and is popular for events, with Hillingdon Police holding their Borough Commander's awards at the GlaxoSmithKline offices last December.