Thousands of residents in and around Royal Tunbridge Wells are getting ready to celebrate The Queen’s 90th birthday this weekend.
Community groups, voluntary organisations and parish councils throughout the borough are hosting street parties to mark Her Majesty’s official birthday celebration.
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council offered grants of £400 for local groups to run events on Sunday to coincide with The Queen attending the Patron’s Lunch in The Mall, central London, and at least a dozen in the town have taken this up.
Communal gatherings will also take place in ten or more locations outside the town, where funding has also been received from the council, with many more unofficial events planned.
KCC said it has received road closure requests from groups who will celebrate on pedestrian-only streets during the weekend of June 11 and 12.
The events follow The Queen’s personal birthday on April 21, when thousands of beacons were lit throughout the country.
Among those partying will be the residents of Ravenswood Avenue in Tunbridge Wells.
More than 250 people are expected to attend on Sunday (June 12) from 12-6pm after organisers received an overwhelmingly positive response to the idea.
Helen Wyles, the driving force behind the festivities, said the party had been set up not only to celebrate the auspicious day but also as ‘a way to get everybody together’.
“We are all so busy these days that you rarely get to see each other. Everyone will be there, from the children to ladies in their 90’s.”
There will be a big barbecue, an ice cream van and afternoon tea with cakes – everyone has been requested to bring something along.
Among various activities for children, there will be a competition to paint the best portrait of The Queen.
Local band The Dad Pack will perform hits from the 1950’s, the theme being music from the Coronation year.
In line with its general policy for this year’s celebrations, the borough council gave them a grant towards the costs.
The idea arose when Mrs Wyles took over the Neighbourhood Watch and established it more as a residents association.
The Tunbridge Wells events listed, many of the street parties, are all on Sunday (unless stated):
ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS
- Boyne Park Residents Association: Street party. Lunch and tea with a bouncy castle, face painting and Royal-themed activities for children.
- Friends of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park: ‘Bring a picnic’ party in the park with live music from Bacchus Wind Orchestra and a celebratory birthday cake.
- Friends of The Grove: Bring a picnic to share with others in The Grove, games for children, bird-box building and a big birthday cake.
- Grosvenor Park Residents Association: Community lunch held in the street.
- Inner London Road Residents Association: A sit-down lunch will be hosted at a private residence on Inner London Road, fancy dress, games and prizes for children.
- Mereworth Road Residents Association: This will be the association’s third street party. The last ‘party for The Queen’ took place for the Golden Jubilee in 2002.
- Ravenswood Avenue: An event expected to attract 250 residents will take place between midday and 6pm. A partial road closure has been approved.
- Sherborne Close Housing Society: Afternoon tea and traditional entertainment provided. Many residents are of the same generation as The Queen.
- Silverdale Road: Street party with stalls and games.
- St Luke’s: A ‘bring and share’ community lunch, inviting all residents of St Luke’s Road to celebrate.
- The Avenues Residents Association: Bunting, food, children’s games and a special birthday cake.
- TN2 Community Trust: Food, music, games and entertainment. Free event – all welcome.
- Tunbridge Wells Sea Cadets: TS Brilliant will hold a tea party at its unit in Albion Road, for cadets, supporters, members of the local community and ex-service personnel. The event will have a naval theme and the cadets will perform the ceremony of ‘Man and Cheer Ship’.
TOWN AND PARISH COUNCIL AREAS
- Brenchley: Celebrations include a street party luncheon in Brenchley, an afternoon tea on Matﬁ eld Village Green and a street party in Petteridge.
- Cranbrook & Sissinghurst: Community picnic on the Jubilee Field between noon and 4pm to which all village organisations, including the Trinity Church, and residents will be invited.
- Frittenden: Vintage-style afternoon tea party on the parish field. Side stalls, games and competitions.
- Hawkhurst: A ‘Royal Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ with games and activities, small rides, and a brass band.
- Pembury: A traditional afternoon tea outside St Peter’s Church for the whole community, with live music and traditional lawn games.
- Horsmonden: Tea party on Village Green for the whole community with music through the decades.
- Lamberhurst: A royal street party for the whole community with traditional entertainment and medals for the children.
- Southborough: Tea party for the whole community. Flags, bunting, stalls, music and activities for children.
- Speldhurst: A community lunch in the church grounds and an afternoon tea for Speldhurst Guides, Brownies, Rainbows and senior sections.
- King Charles the Martyr Church, Tunbridge Wells: Throughout the weekend the plasterwork ceiling will be filled with colour. ‘Flowers for The Queen’ will feature several ﬂ oral arrangements in colours of ten worn by The Queen, with accompanying posters highlighting national and international events during her reign.
Tonbridge to celebrate the birthday with a community picnic in the park
Tonbridge will be holding a good old-fashioned street party and a Royal Bake Off at the Racecourse Sportsground as part of The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations on Sunday from midday to 3pm (June 12).
The Tonbridge Town Team is inviting the entire community to a free to enter Picnic In The Park and organiser Faydra Mitchell said: “We want all members of the local community to bring a picnic and have an afternoon of fun with family and friends. Our aim is to recreate an old-fashioned ‘Street Party’ atmosphere.”
There’s also a chance to enter a cake or cupcakes in the Royal Bake Off competition. The Theme is Royal or British and there are three categories: Cake competition 13yrs and over; Cupcake competition 13yrs and over; Junior competition – 12yrs and under for both cakes and cupcakes.
The Junior Bake Off winner will get three free weeks at Razzamataz Theatre School, Tonbridge.
Faydra said: “The emphasis for the entire afternoon is based on families and friends having fun enjoying the street party atmosphere together.”
“Tonbridge Town Team are planning more fun community events in the future and we are aiming to build upon the fantastic community spirit in our lovely town.”
* ST PETER and St Paul Church in Tonbridge is inviting residents for an afternoon tea to celebrate The Queen’s 90th birthday on June 12 at 5.30pm. The refreshments will be followed by songs of praise as part of the festivities. All are welcome to attend the event at the parish church in Church Lane, Tonbridge.