As the day of our celebrations approached, it became clear that months of planning and preparation by the Village Committee were in jeopardy of being spoiled by the weather. We took a decision to go ahead regardless, and were blessed with a fine if somewhat blustery day. We wanted to recreate an image from a street party held in 1953 for the Coronation, so with hay bales blocking off both ends of the village, we lined up the tables along the road ready for the shared picnic. Turnout exceeded all our expectations- over 100 people came from the village and surrounding area including neighbours that had attended all the jubilee celebrations over the last 70 years and many new faces who we welcomed to our community.  

We are fortunate to have amongst our neighbours Brigadier Robert Aitken, the Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent and appointed representative of Her Majesty the Queen who gave an address in recognition of her 70 years of service which we followed with the British, Welsh and Ukrainian national anthems played by Lorna Savidge on accordion. A topical quiz helped to get people talking together whilst there were traditional toys, including giant Jenga, quoits, and hopscotch to keep the children entertained.   

The fun carried on into the evening with music and dancing to local Folk Rock band ‘Big Sky’ headed up by Julian Marchant from the village with other neighbours ‘guesting’ for different sets on drums and keyboard. As if there wasn’t enough food demolished in the afternoon, we had 80 covers for fish and chips pre-ordered for the interval.  In summing-up, we’ve made new friends, reacquainted ourselves with old ones and have hopefully whet appetites for more community-based activities in the future, after all community is about doing something together that makes belonging matter……