JUBILATIONS

JOYCE’S JUBILATION: The Aldbury Resident Joyce Holden colours 70 Union Jacks

Going Platinum to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70-year reign

The bunting was out, the flags were flying and the gardens were looking beautiful as we celebrated the Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee.

In the run-up to the big Bank Holiday weekend, residents and staff spent many happy hours making royalty-themed decorations and crafts, rehearsing songs to perform and planning games.

A handmade mosaic to represent the Jubilee was the focus of activity at Braemar Lodge in Salisbury.

Everyone involved with the home was invited to place tiles on the artwork during twice-weekly craft sessions ahead of it going on display.

Residents and staff at Braemar Lodge with their Jubilee mosaic

Residents and staff at Braemar Lodge with their Jubilee mosaic

At The Aldbury in Poole, resident Joyce Holden took on the challenge of colouring in 70 Union Jacks to mark the 70 years of the Queen’s record-breaking reign.

And at Kingfishers in New Milton, residents made ribbon wreaths in red, white and blue and a pom pom one in Jubilee purple, synonymous with royalty.

Joyce Holden, a resident at The Aldbury, coloured in 70 Union Jacks as bunting for a Jubilee garden party

Joyce Holden, a resident at The Aldbury, coloured in 70 Union Jacks as bunting for a Jubilee garden party

Among those practicing their skills on the handiwork was Joyce Russell who at 96 is the same age as the Queen.

Joyce Holden, a resident at The Aldbury, coloured in 70 Union Jacks as bunting for a Jubilee garden party.

“She was always immaculate and smooth. She knew exactly how to deal with people.”

Recalling Her Majesty’s ascension to the throne and coronation, Joyce said: “I was 26 at the time and living at a naval base in Dunfermline, Scotland. When we heard of her ascension, I was excited that there would be a Queen. Myself, an uncle and two more family members had tickets for the actual Coronation Day celebrations in London. We had a viewing box in Northumberland Street and could watch the entire procession.”

Asked for her thoughts on the Queen today, Joyce said: “I think she has done very well. I admire her.”

The royal buzz prompted many other residents to share their memories and thoughts about the Queen.

Former royal pilot Michael Harrington, who lives at Castle View in Poundbury, flew members of the royal family, including the Queen, hundreds of times on trips during his years of service.

He said: “She was always immaculate and smooth. She knew exactly how to deal with people. She was very kind.”

At Abbey View in Sherborne, 100-yearold Michael Jones, a Spitfire pilot during World War Two, met the Queen at Buckingham Palace when he was awarded an OBE years later.

“Meeting the Queen was simply lovely,” said Michael. “She asked me if I was still flying planes. I replied: ‘I’m more of a passenger these days,’ to which she smiled. I found her so gracious and very personable.”

Another Abbey View resident, Eve Walsh Waring, worked as a personal assistant at Buckingham Palace after her retirement from government service.

Her official title at the Palace was Lady Clerk Correspondent in the Office of the Personal Secretary. Eve said: “A friend told me of the position and I thought ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. In the end I worked there for five years and loved every moment of an incredible experience.”

“There was lots of cheering and waving of flags and hands.”

Jill South, a resident at St Catherines View in Winchester, said: “I went to watch the Queen’s coronation in London. I travelled by train with my friend and we stood at The Mall waiting. We managed to push our way to the front of the crowd and saw the Queen as she went past. We waved and cheered at her. The crowd was massive, there was lots of cheering and waving of hands and flags. It was just such a happy day.

Hundreds of our residents went all out to enjoy themselves for the Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee.

Anthony Byrne and Polly Walker at Kingfishers. Above: Planting a Jubilee tree at Newstone House.

As well as garden parties, we invited residents to gather for the planting of commemorative Jubilee trees at all 21 of our homes.

We planted commemorative Jubilee trees in each of our gardens as a lasting tribute to Her Majesty. Part of the Queen’s Green Canopy national tree-planting initiative, each tree is accompanied by a plaque made by military veterans supported through the Royal British Legion’s charity activities . We sent her poetry, took part in TV interviews and made a special video message featuring music and song.

On the Thursday night of the Jubilee celebration, thanks to contacts between Home Manager Jackie Cash and the Mayor of Salisbury, residents were also invited to attend the lighting of the Beacon on Old Sarum.

Resident Jennifer Whitaker even sent the Queen a poem. “I’ve always written poetry, ever since childhood,” she said. “I call it ‘doggerel’, comic verse that doesn’t necessarily have a rhythm. My tribute to the Queen simply flowed, and it seemed absolutely fitting to send it to Her Majesty in this Jubilee Year.”

Her Majesty is the first British monarch to reign for 70 years, eclipsing Queen Victoria who, on her death in 1901, had reigned for almost 64 years.

At Kingfishers in New Milton, residents Joyce Russell and Bill Newenham, who are around the same age as the Queen, were featured on ITV Meridian Tonight sharing their memories of being in London on Coronation Day in 1953.

As the piece explained, seven decades have passed since then but it is a day they remember well. Joyce told viewers: “Everybody was happy, laughing and joking. It was after the war and it definitely cheered us up.” Bill recalled: “It made everyone very chatty. You’d go into a pub and everyone was chatting to everybody else, very friendly.” Praising the home’s Jubilee garden party, fellow Kingfishers residents Terry Brown and Polly Walker spoke of the fun they had. Terry said: “Thank you all for a memorable afternoon. Everyone enjoyed the special occasion, great weather too!”, while Polly commented: “I had an amazing time, lots of singing and dancing. I enjoyed the cake too, so yummy!”.

Jill South, a resident at St Catherines View in Winchester, summed up the views of many of our residents by saying: “The Queen has done such a lot for our country after all these years. I am a huge fan of the Queen and all she has done.”

Kingfishers resident Terry Vass greets a cut-out Queen.

Kingfishers resident Terry Vass greets a cut-out Queen.

God save our Queen Elizabeth of three score years and ten

I doubt the world will ever see the like of her again. She went to Kenya as a Princess, came back as a Queen This is the memory most poignant I have ever seen. Serious at serious moments but tickled pink by fun “Good morning Mr Bond” and the Olympics had begun. Through silver, gold now platinum years She has been our rock and stay. So, God Save Queen Elizabeth Hip Hip Hip Hurray!!

Poem by Mrs Jennifer Whitaker – Braemar Lodge

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