I wondered recently, if our beloved Queen Elizabeth was aware of the 100 or so frozen souls who were ensconced in her memory in leaky tents or under canvas sheets which had been painstakingly erected on the empty spaces of the service road which runs at the rear of our gardens here in our little part of Melton Mowbray? The memorable occasion was of course the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne on the untimely death of her beloved father, King George in 1952 (don't forget the Coronation celebrations which we can look forward to next year!) Dutiful and patriotic citizens that we were that day - and remain so of course - are, saw that close to a 100% uptake of those invited to the bash from the houses linked by Ankle Hill and Burton Road, arrived in good time and humour to assist in setting up the plastic barricades against the relentless heavy rain which showed great promise of remaining for the rest of that day.
The Condiments and Union Flag Plates Await
In a hastily thrown together area nearby which comprised of rapidly emptied garages and temorarily abandoned parking spaces, barbecues hi-jacked from patios and gardens nearby were being hopefully fired up, only to resonate to a constant mixture of hissing and clouds of steam. Refreshing drinks were organised, supplied - and readily consumed - by a merry and merrier band of volunteer helpers who were mainly of the male variety; of course the quality of the merchandise needed to be tested before the general distribution! All of this patriotic fervour had been the brain-child of a small group of people resident to 'the lane' who some months ago canvassed us for an indication of general interest and most importantly, uptake. I am told that concurrence and the eventual acceptance was very high and the very tiny sum of £2 pp attending was accepted and duly collected with few defaulters. Those people who were available assisted with the preparation during the morning and by midday people began to arrive and the majority complied with the basic requirement to wear something red white and blue, but this display of Royal obeisance wasn't always clearly apparent as many of us wore our oilskins and sou'westers throughout the remainder of a very wet day.
|Security Guys on Hand in Case of Potential Trouble|
Security was necessarily tight at the event as the country was still in a security state of 'Orange' preparedness and the youngsters took it in turns to patrol the rain-spattered area. As events turned out, the weather was to put an end to any hope of the three-legged and egg and spoon competitions which were officially cancelled. The very young seemed quite satisfied with the alternative game of jumping up and down in the muddy puddles and attempting to dam the increasingly growing streams of rainwater which was threatening to wash us all away. To remain trendy, some opted for a bit of ankle-tapping with their state-of-the -art scooters which for which the slimy conditions proved ideal.
|Is this a deal being done ...?|
|... and are these guys a part of it?|
|... and happy campers.|
All in all, the weather aside, a great time was had by all those who attended and there were no fights (as far as I am aware). I left before time was called the following day, but I am informed that the hardy residents of Burton Road and Ankle Hill lasted till a very early hour in the morning.