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Stansted Jubilee Community Picnic: 2,000 flock to Recreation Ground to celebrate Queen's Platinum Jubilee during a weekend of street parties, music and laughter



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Stansted's Jubilee Community Picnic proved so successful that villagers are calling for it to become an annual event.

Around 2,000 people descended on the Recreation Ground on Saturday, relieved that the sun was shining, to enjoy all the royal-themed festivities that had been laid on by the parish council.

Families gathered to picnic on the green and youngsters made the most of the fun attractions, including a pop-up play village, face-painting, crown-making, bouncy castles, a steam traction engine and appearances by the village fire crew, police and paramedics.

The six-year-old boys light the torch to signal the start of the jubilee weekend. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137416)
The six-year-old boys light the torch to signal the start of the jubilee weekend. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137416)

The four-day weekend of celebrations began with Thursday's beacon lighting ceremony which attracted a crowd of 500 to the rec. Six-year-olds Oliver Philbrick and Freddie Steward and resident Rob Evans were chosen to set the torch ablaze as all of them were celebrating their birthdays over the jubilee weekend.

As the fun continued, residents held street parties in Stoney Common, West Road and St John's Road while Stansted Social Club had an impressive balloon garland around its doorway in Lower Street.

Stansted Parish Council chair Maureen Caton was overwhelmed by the village reaction. "I've never seen so many people all together in the village – ever!" she said. "We were so surprised. It was jam-packed and people have been asking us to do it again.

Villagers settle down for the jubilee community picnic on Stansted's Recreation Ground. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112890)
Villagers settle down for the jubilee community picnic on Stansted's Recreation Ground. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112890)

"I think that because there was something going on in the village that everyone could go to with the kids, and the weather turned out well, people thought they would support it. And there was a huge turnout for the beacon as well."

Residents hosted visitors from Stansted's French twin town of Rungis for the jubilee weekend. "Our French friends loved it. They said we knew how to put on a good do!" said Mrs Caton.

"It's been non-stop, but the highlight for me was seeing everybody enjoying themselves. Kids were playing football while the performers were singing.

"Families came out together and everyone was just getting on and having a good time. It was really great to see and we'll definitely consider doing it again. We've had lots of positive feedback."

Maureen Caton and Peter James shelter from the sunshine! Pic: Vikki Lince (57112887)
Maureen Caton and Peter James shelter from the sunshine! Pic: Vikki Lince (57112887)

In St John's Road, party organiser Jay-Louise Knight said they had raised hundreds of pounds for the British Red Cross Ukraine appeal during an afternoon of games, food and music that saw neighbours from St John's Crescent, St John's Lane and Burnells Way come together to celebrate.

"There were 220 people with different bands playing, a hog roast and an amazing boozy bottle tombola!" she said. "The kids were playing games in the road and it was lovely seeing everyone together after not being able to do that for so long."

Several thousand people flocked to Stansted's Recreation Ground for the village's jubilee event. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112882)
Several thousand people flocked to Stansted's Recreation Ground for the village's jubilee event. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112882)
A member of the crowd captures the beacon as it lights up Stansted Recreation Ground on Thursday evening. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137338)
A member of the crowd captures the beacon as it lights up Stansted Recreation Ground on Thursday evening. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137338)
The flaming beacon. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137471)
The flaming beacon. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137471)
Crowds gathered to watch the ceremony which kicked off the weekend of jubilee celebrations. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137406)
Crowds gathered to watch the ceremony which kicked off the weekend of jubilee celebrations. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137406)
Oliver Philbrick and Freddie Steward, 6, get to light Stansted's beacon along with Rob Evans. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137409)
Oliver Philbrick and Freddie Steward, 6, get to light Stansted's beacon along with Rob Evans. Photo: Kenny McLeish (57137409)
Oliver Philbrick and Freddie Steward, 6, watch the beacon light up. Photo Kenny McLeish (57137413)
Oliver Philbrick and Freddie Steward, 6, watch the beacon light up. Photo Kenny McLeish (57137413)
The Swinchatt family enjoying the afternnon. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112879)
The Swinchatt family enjoying the afternnon. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112879)
Ruby, 3, Katy and Mabel the dog. Pic: Vikki Lince
Ruby, 3, Katy and Mabel the dog. Pic: Vikki Lince
Reggie, 5, by the giant wheel of the steam traction engine. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112875)
Reggie, 5, by the giant wheel of the steam traction engine. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112875)
The steam traction engine was a popular attraction. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112871)
The steam traction engine was a popular attraction. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112871)
We three kings: Charlie, Jamie and Harry enjoy the royal festivities Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112868)
We three kings: Charlie, Jamie and Harry enjoy the royal festivities Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112868)
Jude, 3, has a sit in a police car. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112867)
Jude, 3, has a sit in a police car. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112867)
Eliza, 7, and Matilda, 4, tuck into ice creams. Pic: Vikki Lince
Eliza, 7, and Matilda, 4, tuck into ice creams. Pic: Vikki Lince
Parish councillor Fran Richards and granddaughter Ava at Stansted's community picnic. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112866)
Parish councillor Fran Richards and granddaughter Ava at Stansted's community picnic. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112866)
Families picnic on Recreation Ground, Stansted, for the village jubilee event. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112865)
Families picnic on Recreation Ground, Stansted, for the village jubilee event. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112865)
Families enjoy the fun at Stansted's jubilee event. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112859)
Families enjoy the fun at Stansted's jubilee event. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112859)
Stansted's four Uttlesford district councillors who each contributed funds to the event - l-r: Ayub Khan, Melvin Caton, Geoffrey Sell and Alan Dean with parish council chair Maureen Caton. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112205)
Stansted's four Uttlesford district councillors who each contributed funds to the event - l-r: Ayub Khan, Melvin Caton, Geoffrey Sell and Alan Dean with parish council chair Maureen Caton. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112205)
Local band Delusions of Grandeur entertain the crowds at Stansted's jubilee community picnic. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112204)
Local band Delusions of Grandeur entertain the crowds at Stansted's jubilee community picnic. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112204)
Yuzu, 5, and Yutu, 8, don their impressive homemade crowns. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112201)
Yuzu, 5, and Yutu, 8, don their impressive homemade crowns. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112201)
Dizzy Rascal the dog shows off her jubilee pom poms at Stansted's community picnic. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112199)
Dizzy Rascal the dog shows off her jubilee pom poms at Stansted's community picnic. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112199)
Tres bien! Visitors from Stansted's twin town of Rungis in France approved of the weekend's jubilee celebrations. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112198)
Tres bien! Visitors from Stansted's twin town of Rungis in France approved of the weekend's jubilee celebrations. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112198)
The Queen, surrounded by a magnificent red, white and blue balloon garland, welcomes members into Stansted Social Club in Lower Street for a jubilee BBQ. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112197)
The Queen, surrounded by a magnificent red, white and blue balloon garland, welcomes members into Stansted Social Club in Lower Street for a jubilee BBQ. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57112197)


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