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JUBILEE BRINGS THE NATION TOGETHER

THE special extended bank holiday weekend of 2–5 June saw the country come together to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne. At the national level, events included the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Trooping the Colour, a service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Platinum Party at the Palace and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. Up and down the country, communities also staged their own celebrations.

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OVER 7,000 people came to a “Party like the Queen” event organised by MARLOW Town Council in Higginson Park to mark the Jubilee on 3 June. The Buckinghamshire town was transported back to the sights and sounds of the 1950s, recreating the time of the Queen’s coronation. Many people dressed up in vintage outfits, and entertainment was provided by swing trio The Polka Dots and rock and roll band The Bluejays.


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In FROME in Somerset, the highlight was the launch of the Blossom Circle centrepiece at the Old Showfield, a project chosen as winner of the People’s Budget in honour of the Jubilee. The town’s new mayor, Cllr Sara Butler, unveiled the feature stones and jubilee plaques, placed amidst accessible pathways and new benches, with the town crier bringing proceedings to order with a proclamation to the Queen. Seventy saplings were given away to be planted in gardens as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project.

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THE town of DARWEN in Lancashire celebrated the Platinum Jubilee with flags, bands and street parties like many communities, but the real highpoint of the day was the lighting of the town’s beacon. Darwen moor is 1,220ft above sea level and standing 85ft atop of this is the Darwen Jubilee Tower, which was built by public subscription in 1898 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and also the right of locals to access the moor. The tower has undergone major restoration work over the past 12 months, costing around £300,000, which was raised by a government Town Deal, local donations organised by Darwen Rotary Club and monies from both the borough and town councils. Its official reopening was held on 2 June, when thousands of people gathered on the moor to watch the beacon being lit by Janet Pearce, organiser and Keep Darwen Tidy champion, while the lighting on the tower flashed red, white and blue.



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NEW PLAY AREA RISES FROM THE ASHES

A NEW play facility was officially opened in Sandall Beat Woods, near Armthorpe in DONCASTER in early June, 18 months after the previous facility was burned to the ground in an arson attack. The opening was attended by representatives of Doncaster Council and members of the Friends of Sandall Beat Woods. The group raised more than £7,000 to replace the large climbing frame centrepiece of the old playground. The equipment was supplied and installed by specialist company Kompan.

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USING ART TO BRIGHTEN UP BUS SHELTERS

MILTON Parish Council in Cambridgeshire has installed artwork to brighten up three local bus shelters. It ran a competition in November 2021, followed by a public exhibition in January where members of the public were able to vote. At the exhibition, all the artwork was displayed in large format and visitors could vote for up to three entries. The winners were “Kingfisher at Milton Country Park” by David May, “Milton Country Park Wildlife” by Alison Hullyer and “Mixed Up Milton Puzzle” by Chris Thomas.

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SUPPORT EXTENDED TO UKRAINIAN REFUGEES

In FARNHAM, Surrey, the DeMeric Dance School presented the mayor, Cllr Alan Earwaker (pictured), with a cheque for £550 for the town’s Ukraine Support Fund. Principal Aurelia Whitfield said: “Students wanted to contribute, so instead of wearing everyday clothes, they used their creativity and imagination to dress up as fantasy characters like superheroes, fairies and princesses.” The Ukraine Support Fund is just one element of the town’s contribution, alongside Farnham Homes for Ukraine and Farnham Stands with Ukraine, to support people affected by the war.

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NEW FACES MARK THE START OF THE CIVIC YEAR

In keeping with tradition, in May councils elected their mayors and deputies and appointed officers for the new municipal year. For many it was a return to a more normal way of doing things after the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, with mayor-making ceremonies able to take place in public

HERTFORD Town Council elected Cllr Susan Barber as its new mayor at the annual meeting at County Hall on 19 May. Cllr Barber has lived in the town for over 40 years and was elected to the council in 2019. Her consort will be her husband, Tony Barber, and her chosen charities are Hertford Dramatic and Operatic Society (HDOS) and Future Hope, which works with young people aged 11–19.

   
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AWARDS RECOGNIZE DEDICATED SERVICE

RINGWOOD Town Council presented certificates of outstanding community service to three residents at its Annual Town Assembly in May, to acknowledge their devoted service to the Hampshire town over many years. Peter Crutcher was a town councillor for over 40 years and served as chairman twice. Also honoured were Revd Terry Roberts, for his contribution in officiating at Remembrance services and many other events, and Phil Doughty, who for many years supported him as standard-bearer.

Certificates supplied by Mike Goodwin, Clerks & Councils Direct

 

 

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