Herefordshire's Jubilee celebrations

PUBLISHED: 00:16 20 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:56 20 February 2013

Herefordshire's Jubilee celebrations

Herefordshire's Jubilee celebrations

Herefordshire's celebrations marking the Queen's 60 years on the throne will have a nautical flavour, says Sharon Chilcott

Jubilee beacons, Big Lunches, an all-day festival, special awards and the recreation of a piece of nauticalhistory all feature in Herefordshires plans for a spectacular celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee.

Theres a chance for everyone to get involved over the four-day Diamond Jubilee bank holiday from Saturday June 2 to Tuesday, June 5 and then, later in the year, at a celebratory event unique to Herefordshire.

This is a celebration for the whole of the UK and I hope people in Herefordshire will get excited and get involved, says Olwyn Barnett, chairman of Herefordshire Council.

In the UK around 10 million people came out in 1977 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee. Were hoping that here in Herefordshire thousands of people will join in with the Big Lunch which takes place on Sunday, June 3.

Its an opportunity to get together and celebrate in whatever way you want to. Whats so special about holding a Big Lunch is that you invite your local community and you can hold the event wherever you want, decide your own theme and decide what kind of food you want its entirely up to you. People are the key ingredient to make the event a success.

Parishes across the county are also being encouraged to get fired up about another aspect of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. On Monday, June 4, plans are afoot to have 2012 beacons nationwide lighting up the sky and Mrs Barnett has written to parish councils in Herefordshire encouraging them to get involved and light a beacon.

Meanwhile, in London, the countys contribution to the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be a unique replica of a Wye trow, built out of local timber. When up to a thousand historic and notable vessels assemble on the River Thames in preparation for Her Majesty The Queen to lead the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, this piece of Herefordshire history will be among them, carrying the countys lord lieutenant, Lady Darnley. The 36ft-long flat-bottomed Wye trow, a replica of a working vessel which used to ply its trade along the River Wye is currently being built by Nielsen of Gloucester, one of the few boatbuilders in the country which specialises in this kind of work. The timber has been sourced in Herefordshire from the Foxley and Garnons estates.

This is a particularly exciting element of Herefordshires Diamond Jubilee celebrations, says Bob Tabor, who is on the Herefordshire Diamond Day organising committee and is overseeing the trow project. Weve carried out extensive research which has allowed us to build the working replica. It really is a case of history coming alive. In the 18th and 19th centuries, these trows would have been built at Hereford and other places along the River Wye and they would have been used to move cargoes such as coal and wood, cider and wool. They were eventually superseded by the railways at the end of the 19th century.

The trow is set to be finished in spring next year and is intended to be a lasting legacy of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. After the pageant, it will be used in locations across the county to highlight Herefordshires heritage.

Later in the year, on Wednesday, July 11, Herefordshire Diamond Day will mark the anniversary in sparkling style and celebrate all that is great and good about the county. The event on Herefords King George V playing fields will reflect life in the county during the past 60 years and blend this with a taste of life in the 21st century and beyond.

This will be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration and we hope that towns and villages and other communities will join in and mark the Jubilee in their own particular way, says Lady Darnley, who is leading the celebrations.

We want to highlight the things that make our communities distinctive and we want to celebrate the diversity and richness of our communities with sport, music, dance, local arts and crafts.

We also want to provide an opportunity to showcase some of the many and varied businesses and industries associated with Herefordshire, from those which are known round the world and have become household names, to those which are one-man operations but equally contribute to the rich diversity of the county.

The event is expected to attract thousands of visitors and the team of volunteers behind the day is already contacting businesses, parish councils, voluntary groups and many other organisations in Herefordshire to encourage them to get involved.

The special achievements of individuals within the county will also be marked at a prestigious awards ceremony to be held at the event. Awards will be presented to those who have been judged to have made noteworthy contributions to a range of sporting, business, voluntary and leisure activities in the county during the past 60 years.

We have many individuals who have made outstanding contributions to life in Herefordshire during the past 60 years and we want to honour them, says Jo Hilditch, chairman of the Herefordshire branch of the CLA, and who is on the team organising the celebrations and is behind the
award scheme.

Whether it is in the areas of sport, business, leisure or within the voluntary sector, were aware of scores of local people who have made significant differences to their communities
thanks to their hard work and dedication over decades.

Many have devoted a lifetime to their chosen cause and have sacrificially given time, energy and often their own money to give their communities something which money cant buy.

Nominations are being put forward by existing award schemes in the county and there will be a rigorous selection process to find worthy award winners.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Herefordshire Diamond Day
or the awards should visit or call 01432 261837 for more information.

For more information about holding a Big Lunch log on to

To find out more about organising a beacon, visit

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