Platinum Jubilee

Sunday 5th July 2022

Woodham Walter Platinum Jubilee Street Party
 Sunday 5th June 2022—Cllr. Joanna Symons

When the first reports came out in the press back in November 2020 about plans for an extended celebration for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to commemorate her 70 years on the British throne, we were deep in the throes of the pandemic, and the Parish Council took note of the dates, and resolved to return to the matter in due course. We very much hoped that by the summer of 2022, we might be able to make some plans to get together and once again have a Street Party.

Thankfully by the beginning of this year, things had improved, and the Parish Council decided to go ahead and form a Street Party Working Party to plan a party to take place on Sunday 5th June, when communities were being encouraged to get together to celebrate this milestone in British history.  The Street Party was advertised and by the beginning of June, 230 local residents had reserved tickets, which were free, as the Parish Council was financing the event.  There were also offers of help to set up, provide stewarding, and first aiders etc as well as offers from residents to donate cakes and crisps.

The weather forecast for the day was not at all promising, however miraculously the expected rain somehow stayed away. By 9am the tents were starting to be erected by a team of volunteers, and dozens of tables and chairs were arriving, which were kindly borrowed from the School, the Village Hall and the Women’s Club. Women’s Club members were working hard cutting up the sandwiches which they had made the day before.  The tables were transformed and covered with cloths and laid with red, white and blue serviettes and plates, along with some very pretty colour co-ordinated flower arrangements. Bunting had been displayed and the tents were decorated. Several houses along the road were beautifully decorated with bunting, flags and lovely pictures of the Queen to add to the party atmosphere, and there was a play list of great music to add atmosphere. At 12.45pm, there was a peal of bells from St Michael’s Church, and  guests started to arrive, many of them wearing patriotic clothes in red, white and blue.  The  Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr James Rushton, said a few words and opened the party, and people began chatting and enjoying themselves with friends and family. There was face painting and temporary tattoos, and a ‘Guess the Name of the Corgi Competition’ for the children, and when three tables were laid out a bit later for the wonderful selection of beautiful cakes,  everyone, especially the children,  made a bee-line for them.

Around 2.45pm when people had finished eating, Cllr James Rushton presented the prizes for the winners of the Fancy Dress, Portraits of the Queen and Best Decorated House competitions, and he also presented Platinum Jubilee mugs to the children of Woodham Walter. He then thanked everyone for coming, and we all sung God Save the Queen. Many partygoers then walked over to the School field, where there was a variety of races for both adults and children, and Jubilee medals to be won.

Back on Top Road, helpers were back in action, packing up the tables and chairs, and taking down the tents, and the Women’s Club members were hard at work doing all the washing up and putting  the piles of crockery away, and by about 5pm, Top Road had  returned to normal.

It had been a really happy day, the first real event where the local community had been able to join together to celebrate after a very difficult couple of years with the pandemic, and what better way to do this then to celebrate the historic milestone of our wonderful Queen becoming the first British monarch to ever achieve seventy years on the throne. Everyone was delighted that despite the Queen’s recent bouts of ill health, that she was able to enjoy and celebrate the Jubilee weekend, and although not able to attend most of the events in person, she must have been left in no doubt  about the great  affection and esteem by which she is held by huge numbers of people in the country.