Carrying on from my last blogs account of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in London as well as here in Skegness we move away from the wet weather of Sunday to the more promising outlook of day 3 of the celebrations.
Monday morning was spent watching recordings of yesterday’s river pageant on the river Thames. The Thames has been called London’s greatest street, if you study its course you will discover it links many royal palaces together. It is hard for us to imagine that when the British Isles was a part of Europe before the last ice age that Thames was an extension to the Rhine, the ice melted and the land we now know as Britain became a group of islands and it was the Thames that carried trade and people deep into its interior that establish London as its capital. So it was fitting that it was the Thames that was chosen to feature as the main event of the Facilities and what a great pageant it proved to be. So much of our recent history was on display, from the early trade vessels that worked on the river to the small which set sail from the Thames to rescue the British army from the shores of Dunkirk. http://www.rmg.co.uk/about/press/royal-river-power-pageantry-and-the-thames
In the Afternoon I visited the nearly named The Village Church Farm museum. Skegness was till just over a hundred years ago a mainly just a rural community with a small group of fishermen and there family’s dwelling along the shore and it would be the village green where all the celebrations would take place. There would be games organised for the children and plenty of ale to be drunk before the lighting of the beacon to spread the news of the happy events.
The evenings celebrations began with a visit to the impressive St Mathews Church which was built as part of the redevelopment of Skegness as a Victorian resort by the sea. Plans were drawn up in the 1880s to develop an area in the centre of the town to cater for the people who would be brought to the coast by the newly established railway link. This area was to incorporate a pleasure garden, hotels and also a new church built in the center of a road island on what was planned as the main thoroughfare that would lead to the developments magnificent new pier that would carry visitors out to sea to enable them to enjoy the sensational bracing air that was the reason given by many for visiting the coast.
The Concert was a community effort entitled ‘ Rule Britannia’ with contributions from local school children and groups like the Skegness Playgoers, choral societies and I was really pleased to see contributions from the popular Alive and Kicking group who have been providing social events and activities for those with learning difficulties of all ages in the town for many years. The accompanying music was provided by the every popular Skegness Silver Band. The church was full and a good time was had by all and everyone enjoyed the finale of the singing of Rule Britannia.
The night concluded for me with a second visit by me that day to the Village Church Farm for yet more singing of popular songs like Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and of course God Save The Queen before the welcome site of the lighting of the Skegness Beacon that would join a string of over other beacons throughout the British Isles before the final beacon was lit by the Queen on the Mall.
The Final morning of the celebrations on the Tuesday was spent visiting Winthorpe which is a community just on the edge of Skegness. The residents association had done a marvellous job in putting together an event that would please every one and was well supported by the community and those who were elected to represent the community. There was a five a side football, side stalls and trade stalls and all the things you would associate with this type of celebrations. The Weather was fine and everyone was enjoying themselves, I congratulate the community association for putting on a grand show.
Finally I settled down to watch the recording of last nights Jubilee Consort for the Queen performed on a stage built just in front of Buckingham palace. It was billed as the concert represented the music associated with the queens 60 years of reign. I enjoyed it so much because it was not only music that had been a major part of the Queen’s life but it was the music that had run through my life also. From the early days of Paul McCartney and Cliff to Tom Jones Elton John and Stevie Wonder and on to Gary Barlow and Jesse J of today’s music. It also included a long list of comedians who announced the acts and filled in between acts which could have been reduced considerably if they had handed the job to Peter Kay who was in my opinion the best of the lot.
All in All a good time was had both in London and Skegness despite the appalling weather on the Sunday