Celebrating 60 years on the throne, this weekend marks the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a special double Bank Holiday. So, whether you’re organising your own street party or are looking for events already taking place across the extended break, we’ve got it covered in our guide to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee...
by Michelle Norris
AS the country prepares to bring out the bunting and embrace the red, white and blue of being British, Essex will be flying the flag with a variety of street parties and activities to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend.
On Friday 1 June, the Catch up Café in Highwood Chelmsford will be hosting a special Diamond Jubilee Patriotic Sing-a-long (pictured below).
Set to be a powerfully patriotic event to get you in the mood for the weekend celebrations, the morning will feature stalls, cakes, hot drinks and a raffle in aid of local charity Barrow Farm. Plus, the event will also be introducing a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia with the help of children from Highwood Primary School.
The Catch up Café is located at Highwood Village Hall, Loves Green, Highwood Chelmsford and runs from 10am to 12pm.
And, since the Queen chose Chelmsford to be made a city in her Jubilee year, Chelmsford Borough Council will be celebrating in style on Monday, 4 June. From 3pm, the back lawn of Hylands House will be transformed with traditional fete amusements, transporting visitors back to the era of the Queen’s coronation, before the Jubilee Beacon will be lit to the sounds of the national anthem and a firework finale fills the sky over Hylands House.
If that’s not enough, on Sunday, 3 June and Tuesday, 5 June, Hylands House will also be hosting Outdoor Jubilee Cinema Screenings of utterly royal films, The Queen and The King’s Speech from 9pm.
The Jubilee Beacon Lighting event on Monday is free to attend and does not require a ticket. Tickets for the Outdoor Jubilee Cinema screenings are priced £10 in advance and can be purchased online at chelmsford.gov.uk/hylandsevents or by calling 01245 606505.
Residents in Romford will be able to enjoy the Jubilee celebrations too with the Diamond Jubilee Romfest taking place on Sunday, 3 June.
With six hours of live music and entertainment, this year’s highlights include Britain’s Got Talent’s Hope Murphy (pictured right) and loveable singer Chas Hodges.
Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Michael White, says: “This year’s Diamond Jubilee Romfest promises to be a great show. We’ve got a line-up featuring both up-and-coming stars, as well-established acts.”
With no entry charge, Romfest will be held at Romford Market Place from 12pm to 6pm on Sunday, 3 June. For more details visit havering.gov.uk/pages/Diamond-Jubilee-Romfest.aspx.
Meanwhile in Basildon, over 40 street parties are set to take place across the borough, with four Beacon Lighting events in Billericay, Laindon, Little Burstead and Wickford.
Coinciding with the 4,000 Beacon lightings across the UK and commonwealth on Monday, 4 June, at 10.15pm beacons will be lit at Sun Corner in Billericay with the help of special guest Derek Martin, who plays Charlie Slater in Eastenders (pictured right). Beacons will also be lit at Paddocks Community Hall in Laindon, the Village Green in Little Burstead and the Wickford Memorial Park in Wickford, with community events taking place prior to the lighting. More information on Beacon Lighting events and how to apply for road closures can be found at basildon.gov.uk.
Families in Barking and Dagenham won’t be missing out on the patriotic fun either, with four days worth of events and entertainment lined up over the Jubilee weekend.
The celebrations begin on Saturday, 2 June in Barking Abbey Ruins with the Twilight Classical Concert, then on Sunday, 3 June, Barking Abbey Ruins will be hosting The Big Lunch Community Picnic, part of ‘The Big Jubilee Lunch’, inviting families, friends and neighbours to have a picnic together whilst enjoying a showcase of music, dance and street theatre.
A Diamond Jubilee Tea Party will be held on Monday, 4 June, before the celebrations are brought to a close on Tuesday, 5 June with the Eastbrookend County Fair, including Lamb National sheep racing, falconry displays, a dog and duck show, sheep shearing demonstrations, archery, farmyard animals, donkey rides and more.
Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, Cllr Collins, said: “The whole country will be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and I think we have done ourselves proud in Barking and Dagenham with these four great events that offer a huge range of activities and are a great way for people to meet their neighbours.”
For more information visit lbbd.gov.uk/diamondjubilee.
Elsewhere, Brentwood will be hosting their annual Strawberry Fair with a British theme to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Taking place on Shenfield Common on Saturday, 2 June from 11am to 4pm, entertainment will be hosted by local community radio station Phoneix FM, and along with the obligatory strawberries and cream, there will be food, drink, stalls and rides across the common to keep the whole family amused.
“Brentwood is joining in with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations with some great entertainment planned for the day,” says Cllr Mark Reed, Chair of the Retail, Community & Culture Panel for Brentwood Council. “It’s going to be a traditional English Fair right in the heart of our town and I look forward to seeing lots of you here joining us for a community celebration.”
For further information about Brentwood’s Strawberry Fair visit brentwood.gov.uk/events.
So, wherever you are in the county this weekend, there’s no excuse not to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with Patriotic Pride!