The village celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee held on Monday 4th June 2012 were a real celebration of all that is great in our country and in our village - joyful, happy and unifying. The church bells rang out for the start of the celebration event and D Jack Smith, Lord of the Manor of Great Horwood, cut the opening ribbon under the floral arch made by Jeannie Marshall.
The Great Horwood Silver Band played, undeterred by the odd shower of rain. They opened the whole event and then played again to start the beginning of the picnic itself. An indefatigable town crier proclaimed the event, marching up and down and ringing his bell. It was a superb party, which most of the residents of Great Horwood and Singleborough attended at some time during the day. The centre of the village was a sea of picnic tables, bunting and smiling faces.
Red, white and blue predominate as the celebrations begin for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. Photo by Sally Elvin
There was entertainment for the children, including a magic show, circus skills, sponge football and sumo wrestling, together with traditional races including egg and spoon and sack races, and a tug of war. We had a wonderful King and Queen fancy dress competition with some brilliantly creative costumes; George Landymore and Hannah Fuller were crowned ‘Jubilee King and Queen’. Each child at the celebration received a commemorative medal.
Children enjoy a Diamond Jubilee egg and spoon race. Photo by Sally Elvin
Everyone made a huge effort with their picnics. The Union Jack colours of red, white and blue were used in the most wonderful creations including table settings, cakes and buns, pavement drawings and patriotic outfits. The W.I. made an abundance of jubilee cupcakes, which were eaten almost the moment they hit the tables, and June Margerrison made a fantastic celebration cake that represented all the organisations in the village.
June Margerrison prepares to cut her huge Diamond Jubilee cake, with (left) the Rt Hon John Bercow MP (Speaker of the House of Commons) and (right) D. Jack Smith, Lord of the Manor. Photo by Sally Elvin
No fewer than two pig roasts, plus a fish and chip van and an ice cream van, kept everyone fed until late into the evening. The Crown’s usual good selection of refreshments was augmented by a variety of interesting cask ales, jugs of Pimms and plates of strawberries and ice-cream. Even John Bercow, our local MP and Speaker of the House of Commons, arrived and joined in.
At 8.00 pm the dancing started. A fantastic local band, The Cantells, plus a wonderful singer, Karen Bizzell, provided music that everyone could dance to. The lighting of the beacon at nightfall was accompanied by all the villagers singing the National Anthem. The dancing then continued into the small hours when the final revellers swayed home, happy and content. What a wonderful day! What a wonderful village!
As night falls, the Beacon is lit to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, with the celebration arch in the background. Photo by Sally Elvin