Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

Golden Jubilee | Diamond Jubilee

Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012

In 2012 the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in Ravenstonedale and Newbiggin-on-Lune with many different events.

Each event is recorded here by one of the respective organisers.

Afternoon Tea for the Elderly by Wendy Hunter

Celebrations got off to a splendid start on Saturday 2nd June when the elderly of both Ravenstonedale and Newbiggin on Lune villages were invited to Afternoon Tea at the High Chapel Community & Heritage Centre.

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This was the brainchild of Helen Shields who offered to make and provide all that was required and she excelled herself! Delicious sandwiches were served by ladies of the villages who dressed up in 1950's clothes. Then a splendid variety of cakes appeared at each table

Approximately 60 people attended, to be seated at small tables beautifully decorated with flowers and 1950's style china Tea Services; not a mug to be seen..

It was a joy to meet people who one had not seen for some time and the room buzzed with conversation and laughter.

A Toast was raised to Her Majesty and The National Anthem was sung with gusto. It proved a memorable start to a weekend on celebrations in both villages and certainly an afternoon to remember.

Proms Concert with Cobwebs Orchestra at St Oswald's by Andrew Forsythe

As the nation was settling into the spirit of the Diamond Jubilee Weekend, the Cobweb Orchestra was on appropriately sparkling form for its 4th Promenade Concert in St Oswald’s Church, Ravenstonedale on Saturday 2nd June.

The Cobweb Orchestra is an open-access community orchestra with over 1500 active members across the North of England and the nearest rehearsal group is in Tebay, where they meet every Tuesday night in school term-time in the Sunday School room at the rear of the Methodist Church.  With an active ambition to woo lapsed musicians back to their forgotten, cobweb-covered instruments, Saturday night’s spirited performance would suggest that it has been a highly successful mission as the orchestra worked through a full programme of music that ranged from the Baroque to a 21st century film score.

Conductor Peter Crompton took up his trumpet for the solo lead in Donida’s “I who have nothing”, made famous by Shirley Bassey, the orchestra providing sensitive and responsive support throughout.  This concert was a fitting landmark for Peter’s first year conducting the orchestra and, under his baton, the local group has nearly doubled in size.

No Proms concert is complete without a bit of flag waving and unashamedly jingoistic programming included Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and the beautiful “Where Corals Lie” from Elgar’s “Sea Pictures” suite of songs.  Soprano Mary Hitch rose to the occasion with a wonderfully relaxed performance, the orchestra under constant conductorial restraint to prevent enthusiasm overpowering her gorgeous voice. 

She had quietly disappeared after Parry’s Jerusalem had been despatched, returning to the stage for Rule Britannia resplendent in red white and blue, with a Union Jack shrug, umbrella and flag, the latter waved so vigorously throughout that only the stick remained by the final bars.

The full audience who came to hear this free concert were extremely generous in their donations and along with raffle ticket sales, £450 was raised, which will be divided equally between the church and the Cobweb Orchestra, itself a charitable body.

Songs of Praise by Anne Brownrigg

On Sunday evening there was an non-denominational Songs of Praise Service at St Oswalds.

Hymns were chosen by High Chapel, Newbiggin on Lune Chapel, Fell End Chapel and four contributions from people who had at various times been invited to Buckingham Palace and what it had meant to them.

The first verse of ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful was sung beautifully by Tilly Dow, Peter Hamilton read a piece from Dickens and Hilary Law read ‘They’re Changing the Guards at Buckingham Palace’

A congregation of 70 people sang heartily and a good evening was had by all.

The Jubilee Relay Challenge by Richard Staley

The morning of June 4th dawned bright and clear. The air was thick with anticipation.

This was the day that would make heroes, this was the day that some said would never happen, this was the day that a small but hugely talented group of athletes had spent whole minutes in training for. Now it was here.

The crowds began to throng on the village link footpath at 10:45 - who would have the edge? Newbiggin or Ravenstonedale? Who would win?  Who would be able to still walk in the morning?

11:00 and at the blast of an air horn and the roar of the spectators they were off !!

First leg was "pushchair" Chris Boustead v Viv Bayliffe. At the handover Chris had built a good lead and as Leah Boustead peddled for all she was worth Callum Staley had a gap to make up on the second leg "junior bike"

Third leg - "scooter" saw Laura Stephenson and Ed Higgs share the pain for Ravenstonedale but still Megan Capstick and Steven Ousby maintained a lead for Newbiggin at this, the halfway point!  Bethany Capstick flew off on the fourth leg - "under 16 run" but Tessa Higgs pulled back several seconds for the still trailing Ravenstonedale team.

"Adult bike" was the fifth leg and John Chapel kept clear air between himself and Mark Bolton giving Newbiggin over 30 second lead going into leg 6 - "King and Queen". The crowd by this stage were reaching a frenzied state, the like of which had not been seen since Ken Trimmer split his trousers during the Tug o' War - "May Day Madness" 1997 !!

Diane Boustead and David Capstick set off knowing that a good strong pace would surely bring victory to a Newbiggin team who had led from the very start. Half a minute down and with all appearing to be lost Sue Huck and Bernard Law took up the chase.

The runners were approaching the finish 100m...., 50m...., 20m....! What happened next will go down in parish history. Like an aligning of the planets or the time the church clock was spot on. After almost 20 minutes of unbridled effort by all the competitors it couldn’t happen - could it? Oh yes it could a genuine and absolute dead heat!! The crowd went wild - (those that weren’t already wild) and all agreed that a fairer result there could not have been.

The relay was a fantastic way to start off Jubilee Monday. Many thanks to all who took part, also to Diane Boustead and Richard Staley for organizing the event.

Ravenstonedale Street Party by Helen Shields

The red, white and blue bunting fluttered overhead. Trestle-tables were transformed with white linen cloths, jugs of wild flowers and Union Jacks…..and the sun shone! We had set the stage for Ravenstonedale’s Bring and Share Lunch outside The King’s Head.The trickle of villagers, bearing tins and Tupperware containers of every shape and size, soon became a flood and in no time the tables groaned under the weight of goodies to share.

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There were sandwiches, quiches, sausage rolls, the best English Stilton, fairy cakes, strawberry scones, shortbread crowns, Victoria sponges and meringues. Tom and Annie brought their barbeque and the irresistible aroma of roasting sausages and chicken wafted around.

Pots of tea and coffee were abandoned in favour of locally brewed Jubilee Ale and fruit-packed jugs of Iced Pimms. Everyone brought and everyone shared.

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The children, needing no entertainment, ‘fished’, threw weed around and played Pooh Sticks in the beck. It was good, old-fashioned fun and it didn’t cost a penny. Bill, our resident ‘Tower Ballroom’ organist, belted out Beatles and Abba hits and stoically continued to play above the caterwauling of those attempting to sing. What a star!

Your Majesty: Ravenstonedale thanks you for many things, but on a perfect summer’s day on 7th June 2012, we thank you most of all for the longevity of your reign. This gave us the perfect opportunity to get together and share a 24 carat Diamond Day to remember.

Newbiggin on Lune Celebrations by Marion Law

Celebrations in Newbiggin-on-Lune began with a relay race against Ravenstonedale along the new footpath which has only recently been opened and now links the two villages again.

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Each leg of the relay involved different skills: a pram push, a scooter race, a run, a bike race, and the finale was a race with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in fancy dress, unbelievably the race was tie. 

There was plenty of fun during the sports with the flat race, backwards race, wheelbarrow race, 3 legged race, rolling a hoop and wellywanging. The rather messy egg throwing was won by Tony and Andrea from the Lodge at a spectacular distance of around 30 feet apart. Next came the slow bicycle race, and the Tug of War, of course we had to have a ladies and a mens competition as well as the children. The rest of the day followed with village sports in Bovil Barn field by kind permission of Andy and Shirley Miller. No one is suggesting there was any cheating in the Tug O'War but there does appear to be more Village Men than High Lane Men....but it's all about quality!

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All the children were awarded prize money and Jubilee commemorative medals for taking part. Treat bags with lots of useful items were also donated to the children by Jenny Woodhouse. We continued after the sports with a huge bring and share tea party on the street outside the village hall. Initially we set up for around 152 but I’m sure there was nearer 180+

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Dancing in the street

The field and the whole village were both suitably decorated with homemade bunting, kindly made by many of the local ladies. The atmosphere was amazing and the community spirit was there to be seen. We could not have asked for a better day with outstanding weather. All our celebrations of course would not have happened without the help of the Jubilee committee and a grant from the Eden District Council Community Fund for £500 which helped with the costs and mainly paid for Commemorative mugs for all the children in the Ravenstonedale parish.

High Chapel Community & Heritage Centre History Exhibition of People living in The Parish in 1952 by Caroline Morris

Despite a hectic weekend a steady flow of people found time to come to the High Chapel to look at the exhibition of houses in both villages (photographs from the mid 1980s) and the names of the occupants living in them 50 years ago based on information from the 1952 Electoral Roll. (52)

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The first port of call for most visitors was to look to see who was living in their house then.  Expressions of surprise at those houses differently named from today or which had become one unit where once there were two or which had previously been used for business purposes. Older residents might remember the changes and some of the occupants but quite often there was the comment, ‘I’d forgotten the L family lived there …just for a short time’. 

Similar intense examination and discussion took place over photographs from the 1950s & 60s of parish events and who was who. ‘Isn’t that Jim B? Nooooo…it’s Bob R. Hmmm… yes you could be right’.  A trip down memory lane for some…a surprise for others

At the Black Swan by Lydia Crompton

Monday's Jubilee celebrations at The Black Swan kicked off with a fete in the gardens starting at noon. There was plenty to do and see with children's games such as 'hook a  duck' and 'giant Jenga' to name but a few.

There was a catering tent selling delicious savoury barbequed food as well as vegetarian curry, falafel and salads. For those who liked to browse there was a small selection of stalls with pottery, gift cards and embroidered goods, not to mention , 'name the teddy' (an enormous soft toy), and make a box, bangle or crown. The weather was incredibly kind,  the sun blazed, the wind was almost absent and the rain took a day off. The hotel was in full swing as normal and the shop was busy selling a selection of Jubilee gifts and ice creams. Reluctantly the packing up started at about 6pm as  preparations began for the 1950s dance which started at 7:30pm. Great value tickets provided a marquee replete with straw bale seating, dance floor, mood lighting and a live band performing vintage music. The dance floor was modest in size but the movers and shakers in their period outfits, managed to strut their  stuff to the 1950s songs. As the sun faded and the temperature slowly dropped a welcome additional was an outdoor chiminea fire stocked with a large supply of logs. Finally the 'ration book' entry tickets were entered into the prize draw and the winners were announced and the giant teddy's name was also revealed.

A great time was had by all. Fabulous bunting! Roll on the Royal baby so we can do it all again

Jubilee Beacon on Tailrigg by Tom Higgs

A letter from Bruno Peek OBE MVO OPR, gave Loki Explorer Scouts the opportunity to play their part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.The Scouts were keen to make this a community  event so the eastern knoll on Tailbridge Hill was chosen for its visibility from Kirkby Stephen and upper Eden, whilst linking to the national chain of beacons lighting up the country from 10pm

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The Scouts were greatly helped in creating the beacon by Tony Halliday of Dale Foot, JT Atkinson, Kirkby Stephen and their regular team of supporters. The wind dropped, the clouds melted away and we were given a stunning evening to prepare, then enjoy the atmosphere late into the night. We counted seven other beacons including Orton Scar, Nine Standards, Cross Fell and the furthest at 40 miles away, Black Coombe.

Given our close ties as participants in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, this was a great opportunity to offer hot food and drinks raising funds for our local DofE volunteer network and of course to light up Eden for the Queen’s Jubilee.

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