Flag-waving youngsters at South Wootton Infant School are among the many West Norfolk schools celebrating the jubilee. Picture: Ian Bur

Communities and organisations in West Norfolk will be getting out the bunting  next week to  celebrate  the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A whole host of activities and events have been organised across the borough to mark the historic occasion of the Queen’s 70 years of service.

With West Norfolk’s special connection to the royal family and links to Sandringham and Anmer, it promises to be a bumper bank holiday weekend marking the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee.

A number of right royal street parties, afternoon teas, fun days, carnivals, tree planting and beacon lighting are just some of the events taking place throughout the borough and more than 100 road closures across the county have been approved to enable the celebrations to take place.

If you are not hosting your own event, the main towns of King’s Lynn, Hunstanton and Downham Market have family fun celebrations and most villages also have organised events.

A total of 84 groups have planned celebrations following grant help from West Norfolk Council’s special platinum jubilee fund which has seen £16,522 awarded.

Borough council cabinet member for people and communities, Sam Sandell, said: “It has been a joy for me and the grants team who supported me to review all the applications from groups who would like our help to mark this unique occasion. People have had timeless ideas, fun ideas and inspiring ideas.

“This is an event none of us will experience again and it has come at the perfect time to bring people together in celebratory mood after being unable to socialise for so long.

“I’m so proud that we’re doing our bit to help people revive their community spirit and enjoy themselves. It’s given me jubilee fever and I can’t wait for the party to start.”

The grants have helped celebrations including a horse-drawn carriage procession at Barroway Drove, a time capsule in Tilney All Saints and a tea party in Dersingham for socially-isolated older people for West Norfolk Befriending.

The befriending charity is hosting its first event since March 2020 and operations support officer, Lauren Ephithite, said: “We work with socially-isolated older people who may not see anyone for days because they can’t get out very much.

“Lockdown has been particularly hard for this group and greatly impacted on our ability to offer face-to-face support. So we are thrilled to be hosting our first event for more than two years.

“We’re putting on transport so people can get to the event and once here, they will be able to enjoy afternoon tea and entertainment from the Heacham Songsters. Most importantly, they will be able to come and meet other people. After two years of having their movements even further restricted, this feels really special.”

A grant has helped Pentney village hall committee stage a 50s-themed tea party. 

Janis Bell, committee chairperson said: “We have had so many people wanting to come, we have had to sell extra tickets! It’s fantastic to see the community spirit that this event has created.”

In Lynn on Thursday, June 2 activities start at 4pm in King’s Staithe Square with children’s activities fairy-tale princess and queen characters,a sing-along at 5.30pm and live music from 6.30pm. There will also be beacon lighting and fireworks.

Friday, June 3 will see a jubilee parade through Lynn at 11.50am led by bagpipes with 200 young people – locals cadets, Guides, Scouts and St John Ambulance, billed as the “largest parade ever” to march through the town.

There will be more live music in King’s Staithe Square and activities for children all afternoon and evening and a civic service at the Minster at 6.30pm.

Celebrations continue on Saturday from noon for children and with more live music in King’s Staithe Square  and upbeat party music for the whole family until 10pm.

There will also be free entry to watch a film about the coronation in 1953 at the Corn Exchange.

Sunday will see a jubilee picnic and fun day in The Walks from noon to 5pm.

At Hunstanton, the celebrations include a free live music festival on the lower green on Thursday from noon and into the evening with a beacon lighting ceremony on the lower green planned for 9.45pm.

Friday, will see a fun day in the town hall, coffee morning, quiz and at 2.30pm to 4.30pm a tea dance and sing-along.

Saturday will be jubilee gala in the town hall at 7.30pm with a variety of concert music, tickets cost £7 and £5 concessionary.   

Sunday will see a host of individual street parties organised.

At Downham Market there will be a packed weekend of free events.

Thursday will be street picnic time from noon to 2pm in the town square bring your own food, prizes for the best fancy dress and there will be entertainment and a raffle.

At 2.30pm there will be afternoon tea and a royal talk in the town hall, a songs of praise at 6.30pm in the town hall and at 9pm beacon lighting at St Edmund’s Church with celebrations cakes.

On Friday, there will be an exhibition at the town hall of photographs of the town and a noon a carnival parade along Bridge Street to Howdale with stalls, funfair and arena events.

Sunday will see a fun day in the town centre from noon to 6pm, with fun fair rides for children, traditional games, crafts and more.

The many individual celebrations and street parties are too numerous to mention but include hands-on activities, crafts and costumed characters at Stories of Lynn and Lynn Museum on Tuesday, May 31.