If there is one thing the British do well, it’s pomp and circumstance and having fun. The Queen’s 70th Jubilee was no exception. The crowds in London loved it. As did people up and down the country holding street parties, house parties, beacon lighting etc, the celebrations lasting a lot longer than the 2-day bank holiday assigned for the occasion. During the week beforehand, many town and parish councils put on their own celebratory Jubilee Tea Parties for local residents, and I was fortunate to be invited to one at the centre where my art club meets.
The room was strung out with Union Jack bunting, the groaning food table laid out in temptation just inside the main door to the room. All the cakes on offer were homemade by volunteers, including a very large one iced in the Union Jack flag. On entering, I couldn’t see anyone I knew, even though I arrived a good half-hour after the start time. I hate that, being a stranger amongst many others in company they know. Years ago I would have turned and fled.. A gentleman stepped up, offered his hand, introducing himself to me as a local MP, not one I knew as the centre is in a different area to where I live, not that it mattered. Nice chap, asked my connection to the centre, so I was able to proudly tell him I had painted several of the pictures hanging around the room.
The choice of cake was too much to decide so I gathered myself a cup of tea and joined a small group of people I did not know at a table. This might not sound very much to you, but for me, doing such a thing is a big affair for a shy, introverted lady. Normally I would have headed for the nearest empty table, of which there was only one, all the other 20 or so were full.
Having settled into conversation, enjoying the music in the background (all from the 1950s, which I love), two people arrived from my art group and beckoned me to join them at the empty table. Within ten minutes, 10 other members arrived. Back I went to the cake table to choose, made all the more difficult because the lady serving offered me multiple slices of anything I wanted. I love cake but resisted the temptation, enjoyed only a large slice of lemon drizzle cake with another cup of tea.
The atmosphere was jovial, friendly, and noisy. There was also a small competition in which one had to guess the years in which various photos of the queen were taken. The prize, a large box of chocolates. I didn’t partake as I did not want the chocolates, but did help my art friend Jeanette with guessing some of the years.
Talking of photos, it was only nearer the end of the occasion I thought to take a few photographs, so sadly the cake table is virtually empty. It was as I took a few shots I realised everyone had dressed in red, white and blue or various combinations of the three, something I never gave a thought to when dressing to come out; there was me dressed in a black skirt and top with a bright green jacket. Doh…
Over the Jubilee weekend Dave and I stayed home. There was no street party here, although many residents had their own in back gardens. It was enjoyable listening to them. Not far from me is our local sports playing field where the council had put on a free festival for residents on both the Saturday and Sunday. The music was loud but not disruptive, and most enjoyable. The festivities culminated in a spectacular firework show to music which the whole of our town must have heard if not seen. They were tremendous, some of the best I’ve been fortunate to witness. Well done Patchway Council.
All-in-all, a lovely time had by all for our Queen.
The following week at art group, a note and a small box of chocolates had been left for me as a thank you, by Jeanette – apparently she won the prize!
Congratulations to Jeanette for winning! And if you don’t want those chocolates, you can send them my way. Lol. It sounds like your community put on a lovely Jubilee celebration. What a wonderful thing, to set aside everything else for a couple days and celebrate as a country. Makes me…hopeful. We watched from afar and loved all that pomp and circumstance.
Seems so long ago now! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing the Jubilee. Seeing it unfold on TV was heartening. But seeing the community celebration made it even more real. And I love your choice of apparel. Though I can understand as I’m not good in a crowd without a friend along too.
Yes, I’ve never been one for conformity, especially where fashion is concerned. And don’t think anyone really took much notice. 🙂
Love that they had so many awesome cakes. I also like how you didn’t think to take pics till they were almost gone- very much something I’d do. AND wearing a different color would be me, too. Never would’ve thought of wearing colors of the flag. I watched some of the festivities on line. Looks like a great time. Jillian
Think I was so surprised at being invited I never gave the flag a thought! lovely cakes though. 🙂
That was a really great celebration, Kit. Glad you enjoyed it and, mostly, resisted the cake. Although if you can’t indulge on the Queen’s Jubilee, when can you, eh? We had a couple of neighbour parties in our village, but missed the actual village one. Have to admit it was great seeing all the flags and bunting everywhere.
Nothing much happened in our street either. And seems such a long time ago now. Fun while it lasted. 🙂