We have revealed a fantastic line-up of events which are due to be held this summer to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
This year Her Majesty The Queen has become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of dedication and service to our nation. Communities across the country, the Commonwealth and around the world will come together in a year-long celebration of Her Majesty’s historic reign and Medway’s communities will celebrate this momentous occasion with a jam-packed programme of events and activities.
A big weekend of Jubilee celebrations for Medway is planned over the extended bank holiday from Thursday, 2 to Sunday, 5 June which will begin with beacons across the country being lit in celebration. On Thursday, 2 June beacons will be lit at Riverside Country Park, Rainham, the Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham, Victorian Gardens in Chatham, Broomhill Park in Chatham and Kingshill Recreation Ground in Hoo. At 2pm Mike Billingham, Medway’s Town Crier will announce the lighting of the beacons as part of a proclamation at 2pm in Rochester High Street.
Residents are invited to pack a picnic and join together with friends and family at Medway’s Platinum Jubilee Live Site in Rochester Castle Gardens where a massive screen will broadcast the Jubilee events taking place in London including The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Platinum Party at the Palace and The Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
Saturday, 4 June will see a spectacular Medway River Pageant involving a large collection of historic, commercial and recreational craft which will parade up the River Medway to Sun Pier in Chatham. The pageant will culminate with 'The Great Cacophony' - a wall of sound generated by the ships, viewing public and shoreside attractions and churches including all the ships horns and steam locomotives at the Historic Dockyard Chatham alongside a gun salute from Fort Amherst.
The Dickens Festival will take place in Rochester on Saturday and Sunday, 4 and 5 June with a special Jubilee twist with character parades, live music, poetry, literature and comedy performances taking place alongside the Jubilee Live Site in the Castle Gardens in venues up and down Rochester High Street.
Medway residents are being encouraged to get together with neighbours and friends over the four-day period to celebrate the Jubilee with street or community parties including on the day of the Big Jubilee Lunch – Sunday, 5 June. The Big Jubilee Lunch encourages communities to get to know each other a little bit better and bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community.
Residents can apply to host street parties for one day only across the bank holiday weekend, or as part of The Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday, 5 June. In recognition of this significant occasion, Medway Council has waived the fee of organising a road closure for residents hosting a Platinum Jubilee street party between Thursday, 2 and Sunday, 5 June.
Residents who are planning on holding a street party will need to apply for a road closure to ensure that their event can take place in a safe environment and the council is encouraging residents to apply before the deadline on Thursday, 31 March. Street closures are recommended in low traffic residential roads, such as cul-de-sacs, where no diversion routes are needed to allow services such as bus routes and other essential services to operate as normal. To apply for a road closure to for a street party, visit: medway.gov.uk/streetparties
The council intends to plant a Jubilee woodland as part of the year’s celebrations and is also encouraging local residents, friends and volunteer groups to Plant A Tree for the Jubilee under The Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative.
Picnics, craft activities and fun will also be on offer at Capstone Farm Country Park and Riverside Country Park on Thursday, 2 June. Families are encouraged to visit the award-winning parks between 11am and 2pm to celebrate Her Majesty’s Jubilee with their own picnic. There will be a small charge for craft activities. Medway’s flower beds will take on a royal theme this year with red, white and blue flowers planted in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.
Medway Libraries is launching a fun competition to mark Her Majesty’s Jubilee. Readers will be encouraged to nominate their favourite female writers into the Queen of Literature competition which will be launched on International Women’s Day (Tuesday, 8 March). A shortlist of writers will be announced on Wednesday, 4 May and residents will be able to vote for the Queen of Queens which will be announced on Her Majesty The Queen’s official birthday on Saturday, 11 June.
The council’s Medway Archives Centre has also launched a hunt for residents’ memories of past Jubilees. The project will include a series of reminiscence sessions and roadshows around libraries later this year. Residents are encouraged to send any photographs or other written materials they might have to Medway Archives Centre by emailing email@example.com.
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “The Platinum Jubilee weekend marks an historic milestone in our nation’s history and I am delighted that we will be recognising 70 years of dedication and service given by Her Majesty The Queen to our nation. We have pulled together a fabulous programme of festivals and activities for the weekend and we’d love to see Medway residents coming together to have fun and celebrate by joining us at our events and holding their own street parties in their communities. We’re also encouraging people to share their memories of Jubilees past and to decorate their homes red, white and blue over the weekend. We are keen to create a Medway celebration like no other, that will be remembered for years to come, particularly by our younger generations.”
As this is a year of celebration, a bumper line up of festivals and events are planned for the year, many of them with a Jubilee twist. Dates for the diary include:
- The English Festival on Saturday, 16 April at Riverside Country Park
- Sweeps Festival on Saturday, 30 April to Monday, 2 May in Rochester
- The Queen’s Treasures exhibition at Eastgate House in Rochester from Wednesday, 1 June to Sunday, 10 July
- Armed Forces Day on Saturday, 25 June at Great Lines Heritage Park, Gillingham
- Medway Jubilee Mile on Friday, 22 July in Gillingham
- Rochester Castle Concerts on Wednesday to Saturday, 6 to 9 July
- Medway Gaming Festival on Saturday and Sunday, 16 and 17 July at the Historic Dockyard Chatham
- The Fabulous Fifties exhibition at Eastgate House in Rochester between Wednesday, 3 August and Sunday, 25 September
More details on the events, and other projects and activities, will be announced in due course.
All of Medway’s spectacular events support the council’s aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything it does.
For more information about Medway’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Residents are invited to submit details of their own events to firstname.lastname@example.org and all events across Medway will be promoted on the website.