(June 2023) Village Coronation Celebration

I think it’s fair to say that we are lucky to live in a wonderful community. 377 of us came to the Coronation street party on Sunday the 7th and the table stretched most of the way up Acre Ditch. Innumerable, generous hearted people have written in to say how much they enjoyed it and it was great to have the whole age range of our terrific village there. The children could enjoy a bouncy castle and a slide and there was a terrific fancy dress party organised by Clemmie Broom. The school took part and Jane O’Sullivan, the Headmistress, organised a competition between the classes for making a crown and there were some wonderful contributions to this and very original ones too! Everybody brought their own lunch and at the end of that there was country dancing in the car park, organised by Robin Spicer and Diana Thompson.

We were blessed with the most wonderful weather despite the fact that we had gone to quite a lot of trouble to have a Plan B in case of rain which we could have accommodated we thought.

The wonderful blue and red table decorations were organised by Diana Thompson as well as white flower arrangements throughout the whole length of the table.

The Engine Room of the organisation was done by Tessa Sparks who came to all our meetings with a list of to do’s which we could go through and tick off. She is amazingly well organised and laid the whole length with numbers so that everybody knew where they were sitting and as a side-line we had a means whereby we could communicate with everyone through email.

We were able to raise quite a lot of money and thank Kirsty Buttle for her significant efforts here, our Parish Clerk. We got money from the National Lottery, Cherwell District Council, the two Parish Councils and the Town Estates Charity. This enabled us to give the village a free drink on arrival, a special commemorative coaster delivered with Sibford Scene to each household in the village, free ice cream kindly organised by Diana Hughes and cupcakes from Victoria Taylor.

The Village Hall with great prescience, had been reserved by Ginny Bennett who was up and down there like a yoyo willingly helping and getting things organised.

Our historical gurus Keith and Maureen Hicks, had organised a most informative and detailed exhibition around the Coronation which was incredibly interesting and instructive, showing amongst other things, what part villagers had played in previous coronations – hopefully we’ve got good records of this for the next exhibition! There are a lot of photos that have gone onto the website. It is not too late to add your own via – photos@thesibfords.uk

The whole celebration was set off by Revd Neil who, after the Church Service, came and blessed the gathering and the food. At the beginning too, Tom Dyson, his daughters on the violins and Ant Harwood on the guitar played some wonderful and lovely music in the street which set the whole thing off terrifically.

Andrew Meyler kept everybody on track with the utmost efficiency, financially.

James Garstin wonderfully got drinks which we were able to serve throughout the afternoon; Tim Huckvale masterminded the Sibford website; Chris Cullen was our marvellous Master of Ceremonies; Will Gray, who did a splendid job as our Coronation Celebration photographer.

What a wonderful group of people who voluntarily gave their time to make sure that we had a wonderful celebration which nobody will forget in a long time.

We are lucky to live in a village and I think most people will have met people they hadn’t already – there was such a wonderful feeling of togetherness. Very grateful thanks for all those who helped clear up at the end as well. A truly perfect celebration!

John Wass
Coronation Working G