Jubilee fun down the years

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Farmers often feature in village events for several reasons – they have land, kit, are generally practical folk and often have a family tradition of fundraising and involvement in village social life. Our family is no exception.
My in-laws, Jack and Winifred Kimber, bought their first television for the Queen’s coronation in June 1953 and Paul can just remember their front room bursting with neighbours, family and friends watching the large brown box with a tiny screen.
Down in Dorset, my parents, who were farming there, bedecked a shire horse with flags etc and gave the children rides at the village party. There is a photo of my sister and brother enjoying the celebrations as small children.
Some 25 years later, 1977, the Silver Jubilee. On the eve of celebrations, we hosted a dance in the silage barn with a traditional hog roast – the pig was roasted with two wood fires either side of the spit and it took all day to cook. We put off silage making to be able to use the barn. It was cold, windy and rained in the evening – we had to hang a silage sheet up in the mouth of the barn to keep the rain out!
The next day we had games in our field, a greasy pole, sack races, wheelbarrow races and many more. The day was rounded off by tea in the village hall – including a large wedding-style cake made and decorated by my sister Jean Brown. The parish council gave each child a mug.

Red, white and blue aprons were the order of the day.

Red, white and blue aprons were the order of the day.

The Platinum Jubilee was a similar celebration to that put on for the Diamond Jubilee ten years ago.
The village was welcomed with a drink of Pimm’s provided by the local pub, The Smithy, then a photo call was made and all attending gathered for a group photo taken by Heather, who was lifted up in our JCB man basket!
Everyone was treated to a sit-down meal under two canvas army tents. Some 290 people came, made up of villagers, ex-villagers, their friends and family. Coronation turkey, salad and new potatoes, home-made trifles, followed by a cheese board. Many of the ingredients were donated by village producers and householders. Bex Kimber Danger led the speeches, which in the main thanked the numerous people who had planned and made the day happen.
Rev Mike Vockins said grace and after lunch parish council chairman Robin Bastable cut the very fine Jubilee cake, having said a word of thanks to the organisers and toasted the Queen.
After all this the tug-of-war rope was put into play, with some very healthy rivalry, as various parts of the village sought victory. Some dodgy practices were noted and rematches called!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day with all ages and types in our community coming together to celebrate the Queen’s service to the country. The rain came and finally sent people home, a group of very wet helpers packing things away. In the morning some of us washed all the crockery and cutlery, and attempted to return everything to its rightful owners!
Kimbers Farm Shop, The Kitchen and Somerset Trading Barn, Linley Farm BA9 8 HD Phone: 01963 33177
Open Tuesday-Friday 8.30am-5pm, Saturday 8.30am-4pm.

by Ruth Kimber

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