Sunday, June 03, 2012

Day 1 of Jubilee Weekend

Saturday dawned rather colder than we'd hoped but undaunted the Parish Council and community volunteers were up and out on the grass at Orchard shops by 8a.m.  For some that was a previously undiscovered time on a Saturday morning and I'm enormously grateful to them all.  By 10 the fencing was adorned with bunting and flags, the grass was fenced off as a safety measure to deter children from running into the road, the community centre was buzzing with activity as the exhibition, quiz and cafe were set up and a large tent was taking shape on the grass, surrounded by tables with fun crafts to try.
Sadly, just as the first Punch & Judy show got underway, the sky decided to weep.  Rapid removal of craft tables to the tent followed.
Undeterred by the weather a steady stream of people made their way to one end of the parade or the other, mainly determined by age. The exhibition in the community centre proved very popular and the afternoon talk "Was it really 60 Years Ago?" drew a  food audience of people most of whom had their own memories of the period and were happy to share them.
While older people reminisced about life in the 50s in the Community Centre the very young cheered and laughed and booed at Mr Punch and his goings-on.  Between shows crowns were made, dozens of biscuits decorated and eaten, paper plates became ornate plaques and pictures were coloured.  Outside there were fierce quoits battles and some entertaining attempts with hoola hoops.
By 4pm  when it was time to clear away that phase of the celebrations we all felt it had been worth getting up early on Saturday morning to set it up.
In the evening, local theatre group, Cliffe Theatre, performed a murder mystery evening to a packed house in the Community Centre.  Performed without benefit of stage lights (electricity problem caused by the fire a fortnight ago at the shops), stage space (occupied by the partially prepared set for the next performance by Centre Stage, our musical theatre group) or heating (no gas because of the fire) and using the scripts (because they hadn't had the rehearsal time they would normally have) it was nevertheless a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a great tribute to a community theatre group who pulled out all the stops to do their bit for the Jubilee celebrations.

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