Yet again the parishioners of Much Marcle, Yatton, Rushall and Kynaston showed they know exactly how to stage a fittingly stupendous community celebration, this time in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Around 300 attendees enjoyed an all free event last Saturday, beginning at 3.00pm with a sumptuous Derby Day Tea Party in the Memorial Hall, with prosecco and strawberries on offer, and including prizes for the Best Turned-Out Hat Competition for Ladies and Gents. This event was orchestrated by Jenny Parks and her team of helpers.

The main event commenced with a Grand Opening on the Bartons Field at 5.00pm, carried out by Councillor Sebastian Bowen, Chair of Herefordshire Council. Having snipped the ribbon, Councillor Bowen went on to carry out the dedication of the newly planted Platinum Jubilee Oak Tree, accompanied by local ward Councillor Barry Durkin, and three official guests: Doreen Pocknell from Rushall, who unveiled the commemorative plaque, and local farmers John Farrington and David Powell.

Much Marcle parish is proud to have the recognition of the ancient yew tree in the churchyard of St. Bartholomew’s Church, which has been included in the list of only 70 Ancient Trees in Britain, henceforth to be known as the Queen’s Green Canopy, and, what is more, the only tree selected in Herefordshire for such honour. Here’s to the longevity of the new oak standing for the next thousand years!

With formalities over, the assembled throng enjoyed an afternoon of traditional games including welly throwing, skittles, limbo, hoopla, boules, guess the weight of Reg, the Westons’ Shire horse, egg and spoon race, lucky dip, coconut shy, horseshoe throwing and tug of war, culminating in a mixed football match. Much fun and amusement for all ages, mixed with a tinge of nostalgia.

Having worked up an appetite all enjoyed the delights of a free hog roast and cider, beer and soft drinks refreshment from the Westons mobile bar. Entertainment was provided by the ever popular and renowned local band, Frontrunner, and the evening rounded off with a spectacular fireworks display which lasted an incredible twenty minutes and wowed everyone.

The start of four days of celebrations saw the lighting of the Jubilee Beacon on Marcle Ridge Thursday June 2nd and culminated in a patriotic Songs of Praise service in St Bartholomew’s on Sunday the 5th.

A massive thank you goes out to all the volunteers who made this such a memorable event, in particular event leader Parish Councillor Elliott Thomas, aided by Mike Barber-Starkey on legalities, Alison Hope on sponsorship, and Simon and Janey Cotton on advertising and logistics; all of whom organised and galvanised such a wide number of willing hands to make this such a momentous occasion and another village community triumph……God Save the Queen!