A Platinum Jubilee street party saw different generations come together to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years of service.
More than 400 schoolchildren, as well as residents who are celebrating their 70th birthday came along to enjoy food, music and entertainment today in the town centre.
St George's School pupils Alex (left), Pamilerin (centre), and Evan (right) at the Gravesend Platinum Jubilee Party
The event took place on Gravesend’s Community Square and featured child entertainer Silly Billy, along with a musical performance by Queen tribute band Supersonic Queen.
It was organised by Gravesham Borough Council and Cohesion Plus.
The long purple tables were filled with excited pupils, eager to enjoy a sunny day out whilst snacking, dancing, and playing with their friends.
Students from St George’s School could not contain their excitement when talking about Her Majesty while wearing their handmade crowns.
Pamilerin said she was very happy to be there and said her favourite part of it all was enjoying a nice meal.
She said: “My message to the Queen is to say thank you for bringing this country to life, for helping everyone here today and letting us have a good time!”
St John's Catholic Primary School pupils at the Gravesend Platinum Jubilee Party
Her classmates Alex and Evan thanked the Queen for giving them the ‘amazing opportunity’ to celebrate her Jubilee, and were looking forward to dancing a lot.
The school’s very own Elizabeth said she is glad the royal family “is not as bossy as the other people in the older days”.
From one Beth to another, she added: “My favourite thing about the Queen is that she is really kind. Her job is to make sure everybody is safe and nobody gets hurt. I hope you keep reigning for all of your life!”
Oliver, from St John’s Catholic Primary School, said he was immensely proud of the Queen and she deserves every single celebration.
He said: “The Queen’s job is to lead us and treat us good, and she’s been doing really well so far for the past 70 years. The best part is that she is treating all of us very nicely and we repay her with all these celebrations.”
Jacqueline Littlewood was happy to celebrate her 70th birthday together with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
As well as the hundreds of schoolchildren, the true guests of honour were the few residents who had a double celebration – the jubilee but also their 70th birthday.
Jacqueline Littlewood was perhaps one of the best dressed at the party, with her personalized union jack cuff links and jacket.
She said: “I feel very privileged to be able to enjoy this occasion. It is truly amazing to participate in this.
“Thank you very much, Your Majesty, for your service through all this time.”
Dave Bennett will have a triple celebration this year – his 70th birthday, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and his golden wedding anniversary.
He said: “I’ll turn 70 on August 11th, and will be married to my wife for 50 years the day after!
“I think it’s fantastic what we’ve been doing here for the queen and hopefully she reigns for a lot longer. God bless her and well done!
“I remember celebrating the silver jubilee in 1977 with my children and I can’t believe we’re now another few years on and she’s still reigning. That is just amazing and wonderful.”
Dave Bennett will celebrate his 70th birthday this year
The Jubilee party also saw various dignitaries – from councillors to deputy lieutenants.
Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven DL, Deputy Lieutenant on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant Lady Colgrain, said today was all about coming together and celebrating “our wonderful Queen”.
He said: “First of all, we have to give thanks to Her Majesty The Queen for 70 years of reign, her sense of work ethics and being able to unify parties, nations, bringing people together in good times or in times of great need and great difficulties.
“She has been a great example and an inspiration to us all.
“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her about four years ago. I can say she is an absolutely wonderful person. Very warm, generous, and so hospitable. She has got very piercing eyes, but she looks at you and you have her total attention. She is a wonderful person and I think we are so proud and privileged to have her.
From left: Gurvinder Sandher from Cohesion Plus, Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Peter Scollard, Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven DL, and Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox
Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox, cabinet member for community and leisure at Gravesham Borough Council was thrilled to celebrate the country’s first ever Platinum Jubilee.
He said: “This party is very intergenerational, and that’s what bringing one community together has got to be about. Some of the children have never experienced a jubilee before.
“We don’t really value public service in this country, and that’s what we want to celebrate here today and show young people public service matters, one community matters, and bringing everyone together is so important.”
Elected Mayor for Gravesham, Cllr Peter Scollard, was also present.
He said: “It’s a cultural opportunity for young people and the elderly to celebrate the achievements of our amazing Queen. The Queen has served our country for 70 years with dignity and pride, through hard and bad times. No other statesperson in the world has done that. We’re just so proud of her.”
Gravesham Kent Juliana Cruz Lima