(July 2012) Diamond Jubilee Reflections

If you spent the 4-day Diamond Jubilee holiday in the UK it was difficult not to be touched by the outpouring of public support for our Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrated the 50 years of her reign. To complement the National celebrations, in line with historical tradition, the Sibfords organised a programme of local events to celebrate Her Majesty’s most remarkable dedication and service to the nation throughout the past 60 years.

The Sibfords Jubilee Celebrations provided events in the villages on each day. On Saturday 2nd June the Village Fayre and Dog Show transformed the Village Hall and its grounds into a colourful cornucopia of stalls, games and sideshows. Despite the chilly weather villagers and families had a great time enjoying the many different Jubilee themed attractions. Children could enjoy free rides on the Cup and Saucer roundabout and the Bouncy Castle and Candy Floss were also free during the afternoon. The Karate demonstration by members of the village club was excellent and the Dog Show provided entertainment during the afternoon. Delicious teas, a bar-b-cue and licensed bar catered for everyone and ensured a relaxed afternoon for everyone. The Egg Throwing Contest was keenly contested and many sticky hands were licked by grateful dogs before the winning pair was rewarded with their prize.

Stalls were packed up, straw bales collected, gazebos dismantled and tables packed away — all by 7pm for the start of the Disco and Talent Show in the Village Hall. This was well supported and our young people presented a great range of talent and skills providing brilliant entertainment. Families and adults danced the night away bringing the first day of celebration to a close.

A Service of Thanksgiving was held on Sunday morning in Holy Trinity Church. This Benefice Eucharist jointly celebrated the life of service and dedication of our Queen and the 172nd birthday of the Church in Sibford.

Various gardens in the Gower and Ferris were open during the afternoon. The weather was cold and rain only managed to hold off for part of the afternoon but those who braved the elements were treated to a peep behind gates and hedges to enjoy some garden jewels. A hot cup of tea and homemade cakes were most welcome although we did have to be indoors and the wood—burning stove had been lit! We were, however, not as wet as those on top of the final boat of the Queen’s River Pageant who sang their hearts out while being drenched to the skin!

Monday 4th June was drier and during the Village Sports afternoon at Sibford School the sun did grace us for a brief and warming spell. The youngsters entered with great energy and enthusiasm into all the races and some of their parents were also persuaded to take part. Many medal ceremonies were performed as gold, silver and bronze winners were decorated with Olympic-style medallions. Commeemorative Jubilee Mugs were presented to all village children (below 6th Form age). Families stayed on for a picnic tea and some continued to play a game of inter-village rounders until late into the evening. The residents of Barley Close even managed to enjoy their Street Party out of doors! With the extra Bank Holiday granted for Tuesday 5th June, The Sibfords Society organised a ‘Walk Around the Village’ Quiz. During the afternoon groups of puzzled people, trying to keep their answer sheets dry in the drizzling rain, could be seen searching for the answers to 40 clues. Finishing at the Wykham Arms afternoon teas were available to reward those who had persevered.

Back at the Pub in the evening, teams of six enjoyed a Jubilee Quiz. All the questions and answers had a flavour of royalty or diamonds and kept all the competitors focused on the Diamond Jubilee Theme.

Many thanks are due to all those who worked so hard in many different ways to provide the varied activities in the village to celebrate this most memorable occasion. Financial support from Cherwell District Council, the Town Estates Charity and the Gower and Ferris Parish Councils was fundamental in defraying all the costs involved and we are most grateful for their support. Thank you also to the children who wrote to say thank you for their Jubilee Mugs and to say how much they had enjoyed the Jubilee activities in the village.

Why not visit the village website: www.thesibfords.org.uk to see some of the photographs of the Jubilee celebrations in the Sibfords.