Published: Wednesday, 1st June 2022

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, wishes Medway residents a joyful Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

Dear residents,  

You are cordially invited to attend a series of spectacular events to honour Her Majesty The Queen and celebrate her unparalleled 70-year reign.  

In recognition of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we can all enjoy a four-day bank holiday weekend starting this Thursday. However, I recognise there are many people amongst our communities who will be working, from council teams supporting vulnerable residents to our emergency service colleagues, and I thank you all for everything you do.  

Her Majesty is the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee and Medway will be celebrating this milestone; we have arranged events and activities fit for a Queen to mark this momentous occasion.  

Beacon lighting

The festivities will begin on Thursday (2 June) when five beacons across Medway will be lit at the same time (9.45pm) as thousands of others across the UK and the Commonwealth. Don’t miss Medway’s very own Town Crier, Mike Billingham, outside the war memorial in Rochester High Street at 2pm – he'll be announcing the lighting of the beacons as part of a proclamation. 

Platinum picnic at Rochester Castle

Be the King or Queen of the castle and watch all the jubilee celebrations live on a big screen from Rochester Castle gardens from Thursday (2 June) to Sunday (5 June). The live coverage will include Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Parade and the Platinum Party at the Palace. Invite your friends and family, bring a picnic, and join in the celebrations with the finest and tallest Norman castle keep in the country as your backdrop.  

A Celebration of Dickens

In recognition of Medway’s links to Charles Dickens, we will be hosting a cultural celebration of literature and entertainment, with a jubilee twist. The celebrations at Rochester Castle will honour both Her Majesty The Queen and Charles Dickens. There’ll be character parades, live music performances, prose and poetry readings. 

Platinum Jubilee Medway River Pageant

The River Medway will host a spectacle of more than 100 boats on Saturday (4 June). Be part of the momentous occasion and join the crowds at Sun Pier in Chatham to witness 'The Grand Cacophony', including a gun salute at Fort Amherst. The fantastic pageant has been organised in partnership with Tiller and Wheel CIC and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the organisation.  

Street parties

I hope everyone hosting or attending a street party has a great time celebrating the Platinum Jubilee with their friends and neighbours. More than 60 street parties will be held across Medway over the bank holiday weekend. 

We have even more events and activities planned for the jubilee weekend. You can see the full list of jubilee themed events and activities on the Visit Medway website.  

I am pleased to hear that residents were able to enjoy Medway’s open air pool at the weekend. The Strand in Gillingham is the UK’s only riverside salt-water lido and it is now open for the summer. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that we have repainted the iconic elephant slide in patriotic red, white and blue. The pool is currently open at weekends and will open daily from Monday, 25 July until Thursday, 1 September. However, as a special Platinum Jubilee treat, the lido will be open over all four days of the long bank holiday weekend. 

We are looking forward to seeing residents come together and celebrate this historic occasion at Medway’s attractions, as well as at our own spectacular events and at street parties across Medway this weekend. However, our jubilee celebrations will continue this summer with Armed Forces Day and the Medway Jubilee Mile. For more information about all of our fantastic jubilee events, visit our Visit Medway Jubilee webpage.

On behalf of Medway, we wish Her Majesty The Queen a happy Platinum Jubilee and thank her for her dedication and commitment to representing the nation.

Cllr Alan Jarrett 

Leader of Medway Council 

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