Tea for Me, Please!

 This year is full of celebrations, one of which is the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen’s accession to the throne. And after sixty years in arguably the most high-profile job in Britain, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is definitely a national treasure!

Across the country people will be celebrating, and here in Winchester the city’s entertainment is centered on being affordable and encouraging everyone to participate. We will be having some good, old fashioned fun, especially as we have a four-day weekend away from the hum drum of everyday life.

The first event will be held in the grandeur of the Guildhall. The Winchester ‘Jubilate’ showcase of local talent, on Saturday June 2nd from 7pm, will see all sorts of local talent take to the stage in jubilation. The event hopes to involve the whole community, providing an open platform for local talent to express itself and rejoice in all things British. You can’t get much better than an evening of local, live entertainment, especially in such an impressive venue!

Once you have recovered from the evening festivities, Sunday June 3rd sees the Broadway transformed into a giant street party. Everyone is encouraged to come and revel in the celebrations, with everything from performer’s workshops and visual artists, to local businesses promoting their local produce and you can even bring your own picnic. Admission is free and the party will continue from midday til late afternoon.

And you won’t just be watching the action! There will be live performances both up close and personal by the tables and in the main performance area. Performers include the Winchester Rock Choir, magicians, comedy acts, musicians and dancers. With so much going on, you would be a fool to miss out!

The festivities will be ongoing through the work of community artists working in all mediums to document the Diamond Jubilee, and the artwork will be on exhibition from June to December this year in the lower corridor of the Guildhall.

Opportunities to be involved do not stop there. There will be lots of events looking back at 1952, such as an evening of singing and dancing to ’50s and early ’60s music for just £5 (£4 for concessions). The music will be played by Solent Sunrise at the Gosport Discovery Centre on Friday 25th May and promises to be a fantastic excuse to get the dancing shoes out.

You could also head down to Hampshire’s SEARCH museum who will be holding an open day on Saturday 26th May where you can explore a 1952 Jubilee house, including setting up a tea party, dressing up in ’50s clothing and take part in activities using real museum collections. And all this for free!

If these events aren’t enough, there are many smaller local events as well as museum open days, community picnics, Jubilee quizzes and even a Donkey Derby and Dogshow which will be hosted by Hayling Lions Club.. Hampshire County Council have also made it hassle-free to set up your own small street party, so why not do some baking, have a go at decoration and spend a lovely afternoon with your neighbours?

See ‘Fabulously British! Tea party ingredients‘ for some tips on throwing your own sophisticated soiree.

For information on all of these events, and many more, visit http://www3.hants.gov.uk/diamondjubilee, or for national events visit http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/.

Let us know how you are planning to spend your Diamond Jubilee weekend!

words Bryony Symes


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