Coronation weekend plans


Now that Easter is over, we can think of the next bank holiday weekend. This time we’ll have three days to look forward to, plan for, organise, or fill, whatever your intentions.

Saturday, May 6 is the coronation of King Charles III and the Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey. Sunday May 7 is The Big Lunch. On Sunday evening there will be a concert broadcast live from Windsor Castle and Monday May 8 is the Big Help Out.

One of my friends is completely uninspired by the whole thing; not feeling it, not now, not ever. Another pointed out that this is in fact a celebration of a new head of state, so has great importance whether you’re a monarchist or not.

However you feel about it, I can guarantee this. It will be spectacular. It will be organised with meticulous precision. It will show off the best of our traditions, as well as looking to the future. All the eyes of the world will be upon us, for all the right reasons. This is the kind of event that we don’t just do well, we exceed at.

So what of our plans locally? Have you decided how you will be spending your weekend. Rother have made available a grants fund for Parish and Town Councils, as well as official groups like residents associations. It will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Here in Winchelsea, we have an extremely well organised residents association, the WRA. Plans for our Big Lunch are well underway. Street closures have been requested and licences have all been applied for. Risk assessments are done and public liability insurance is in place.

Jubilee picnic in Winchelsea

With all the technicalities dealt with, that just leaves the fun stuff: table plans, decorations, flowers and food. Many hands make light work, so even this old events planner, is just a small cog in a big Winchelsea wheel. On the day my principal duty will be flowers. It’s always been a passion of mine. I used to do all the flowers in the restaurants, for the tables, large displays or special events. And then of course there’s the food. Neighbours will all bring something to add to the table and share with friends. At the moment I’m thinking vol-au-vents with coronation chicken inside…one large one to share?…individual ones?…or canapes?…the conundrums of a caterer!

Sergio has the easy job, bringing the wine, his specialist subject. With his sixty years in the industry, orders have been placed and wine buckets polished. But again Winchelsea is one step ahead, with a cocktail and mocktail station planned for the day.

Jubilee picnic, tuna and white bean salad with shallot dressing

The Big Lunch is supposed to bring people together, not just to celebrate, but in a bid to reduce isolation, promote neighbourliness, rekindle friendships and encourage community. This can mean anything from the full scale coronation-fest of the WRA, to two neighbours sharing a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the garden.

Jubilee picnic, tomatoes and mozzarella with balsamic dressing

Last summer we had a spectacular Jubilee Lunch. The weather was awful but the company was great. Some of us were dressed up and some of us wore salad dressing that had spilled all over them (me), while transporting the food in the car. Whatever the hiccups in May, again, I can guarantee that the residents of Winchelsea will be talking about our Big Lunch for years to come. So get planning, you’ve got three weeks…

Image Credits: Natasha Robinson .

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  1. I think local get togethers and celebrations are great for any reason. But, I am told that our taxes pay for the pomp on the day. The Royals are richer than many of the population so should pay for it themselves and that money could then be given to charities or nurses.

  2. Colonel Anthony Kimber, President of Rye RBL remarks that In Rye there will be several events:

    On 23 April we will be marking St George’s day and the forthcoming Coronation by parading ex Service, scouting, guiding and youth organisations before a service in St Mary’s. During the service “promises”will be renewed.

    On 6 May the Rye Town Crier, Mayor and others will mark the Coronation at the Town Hall.

    On 7 May the Coronation will be marked during the service in St Mary’s.

    On 8 May there will be a ” Big Lunch” in the Tilling Green Centre. Attendance will be by ticket available from the organisers.

    Other events are being considered. All events are being advertised separately.


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