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Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee 2012

Part 2 - The Celebrations

Plan B had been the right decision. Sunday started only cloudy but, as the day progressed, the skies darkened and the rain began. However, it did not deter more than 300 local residents from every corner of the village. They came in great spirits decked out in red, white and blue, wearing wet weather gear, and bringing further food donations for the communal picnic table. Many had previously attended the Jubilee Service at Ampney Crucis Holy Rood Church and walked up through the village with the church bells still ringing, accompanied by the colourful horse parade which had started at the War Memorial and driven up through the village to the party venue. The shire horses and ponies were a popular feature of the afternoon.

Master of Ceremonies, Philip James, formally opened the proceedings asking everyone to stand for the National Anthem, followed by three cheers and a Loyal Toast to Her Majesty.

And so the revelry began with music played by villager Gerry Westmacott on his CD system as well as live acoustic and electronic violin and accordion played by the visiting professionals.

The BBQ sizzled and a constant flow of hamburgers, hotdogs and fried onions cooked by volunteer chefs James Armitage and Doug Crook kept everyone fed. Wine beer and soft drinks were made readily available through an open bar.

Besides enjoying the picnic, there was much to do throughout the day both inside and outside the tents. A television had been very kindly donated by a village resident and an aerial system had been set up allowing party goers to watch live coverage of the Thames Jubilee 'Armada'.

Others took rides around the village, whilst smaller children enjoyed a special area of their own named 'Lilibet Corner' after the Queen's own play-house when a child. The children also took part in competitions such as crayoning-in pictures of the Queen, the making of a Coronation crown and the fancy dress compettion for the village King and Queen. All afternoon we were entertained by Simon Holt and his balloon-modelling skills as he made giraffes, dogs and some rather bizarre looking creatures.

Towards the end, standing by 6ft cardboard cut-out of Her Majesty, the organisers awarded specially minted jubilee medals to competition winners, and to those who had made a particular contribution to the party. They also announced that the raffle for the donated television had raised £400.

Finally, as the skies opened and rain started in ernest, song sheets were handed out and everyone joined in a good old-fashioned sing-a-long led by Sally Fisher and her daughter, Laura. At the finale, flowers were presented by Parish Council Chairmain and Vice Chairman Barry Dent and David Vessey to Anna and Rosanna and everyone showed their appreciation to them for all their efforts in organising such a memorable and enjoyable day.

Article taken from Ampney Crucis Diamond Jubilee 2012 - A Year to Remember by David Vessey