With this being the weekend of the Queen’s diamond jubilee, I have been trying to think back 35 years to the silver one.
I remember that it was quite a big deal at the time. Although it isn’t uncommon for royals to knock up 25 years on the throne, the last such event occurred during the Depression era and it was as if the nation was intent upon having as big a celebration as was humanly possible.
I don’t really remember any of the actual celebratory events, though. The morning of the day itself was spent watching the television and seeing the Queen walk through the streets of London. The route that she took is still marked with plaques inlaid into the footpath, so there’s a pretty constant reminder of that.
In the afternoon, we had a street party. It wasn’t a huge and glamorous affair, but I do remember lots of tables of food. Our road was on a slight (although it seemed enormous at the time) slope and at the top someone had set up a tent with a record player in. Various people had lent records to be played during the party and I still have one or two of them, inscribed with Dad’s initials so that they could be returned to us at the end.
The only other thing that I can clearly remember was that there were games played and that one of those was a race for the menfolk in which they had to pick up and put on various items of clothing that had been left in their path.
Apart from this, though, I am not sure that we really did anything special at all. I certainly don’t remember doing anything at school or anything more of the national events. On the other hand, it was the summer that I really discovered cricket, so perhaps that is why. I can tell you anything you like about England winning the Ashes in Ian Botham’s first international season.