Jubilee Celebrations through the years

Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee
The Golden Jubilee helped Queen Victoria reconnect with the nation after she had withdrawn from public life following the death of Prince Albert. Mr Park, the Headmaster of Oundle School, announced that thanks to the efforts of the staff and pupils in the charitable project, the school had founded a cot at the Children’s Hospital in Great Ormond Street, London, to commemorate the Jubilee. In Oundle Reminiscences, Arthur Howitt referred to a new bridge built in 1887 as the new Jubilee Bridge. “Previously to 1887 the only approach to the bathing-place was by the Barnwell Road and the journey was long… this made the journey much shorter.” An overlooked, but enduring commemoration of the 1887 Jubilee is the word JUBILEE set in stone at the front of The Berrystead on North Street. Arthur Howitt wrote that he was walking up North Street and saw stonemason Anthony Rippiner lying on his side at the edge of the pebbles. He told Arthur: “There, my boy! You will be able to look at that when you can’t see me.”

1887 Stonemason Anthony Rippiner laid stones spelling “Jubilee” in front of The Berrystead on North Street

Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee

A decade later, Queen Victoria became the first monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, which she marked with a private service of Thanksgiving. Two days later, she headed a royal procession through London, which was recorded by forty camera operators, a milestone for the early film industry. Residents of Oundle lined the streets for the Jubilee procession, which included a collection of cyclists. The Ball and Son Butcher was one of the businesses with a display of products set out in front of their Market Place shop. School pupils had extra cause to celebrate the Queen: “An announcement that in accordance with the Queen’s wish an extra week would be added to the Summer holidays gave the boys a further opportunity of shewing the power of the throats, and then ‘God Save the Queen’ was sung lustily.”

1897 The Ball & Son Butcher display their wares on Jubilee Day

King George V Silver Jubile
Jubilee Day was a public holiday marked by parties across the country. In Oundle, the streets were lined with bunting and flags for a procession that included military regiments and local dignitaries. Jolly sporting games and races were held on Home Close.

1935 The Jubilee procession marched past the Queen Victoria Hall

Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee

The Queen and Prince Philip travelled on a series of jubilee tours to Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and a total of 36 counties in Scotland, England and Wales. To catch a glimpse of the Queen proceeding to St Paul’s Cathedral on June 7th, more than a million people lined the route. It is estimated that 500 million people watched the Jubilee Day procession on television. In Oundle, a Jubilee Carnival was held on June 7th, with a full programme of activities.

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee

The Party at the Palace was held at Buckingham Palace. Tickets were allocated to 12,000 people to attend the concert in the garden, while an estimated one million people watched outside in The Mall and 200 million watched on television. Brian May and Roger Taylor from the band Queen played “God Save the Queen” from the roof of the
Palace. Aged 76, the Queen and Prince Philip visited fifty counties in the UK and travelled to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee
The Queen became only the second monarch to have reached this milestone. National celebrations included a maritime flotilla of one thousand boats which travelled the Thames from Chelsea to Tower Bridge, led by the Queen’s Royal Barge, Gloriana, an event that was memorably dampened by steady rain. There were 2,012 beacons lit around the country. Oundle residents celebrated the occasion with the opening of the new pocket park play area, accompanied by free entertainments for children and a fancy dress competition. Later in the day a Party in the Park with local bands was held for the older crowd. Nene Valley Brewery made a special Jubilee beer. Businesses in town joined in the celebrations with festive window displays.

Jennifer Yang
June 2022