St Albans district celebrates the Queen’s 90th birthday with events this weekend

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 June 2016

Old pix of Kimpton's links with the Queen Mother

Old pix of Kimpton's links with the Queen Mother


Celebrations to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday are taking place all over the district this weekend.

Old pix of Kimpton's links with the Queen MotherOld pix of Kimpton's links with the Queen Mother

They range from street and school parties to fetes, festivals and barbecues - while for one person, the day has a special resonance.

Vera Head, manager of the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) at St Albans City Hospital, has been chosen out of 35,000 volunteers to represent the charity at the celebrations on The Mall on Sunday.

She feels as though she has come full circle as she worked with Sir Hugh Casson on arranging the seating plan in Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

Vera said: “I feel humbled and honoured to be chosen and am so looking forward to the event.”

Sandridge knitted villageSandridge knitted village

Closer to home, St Albans Abbey Station is hosting an afternoon of tea and cakes on Sunday as part of the national Station to Station celebrations.

Herts county council cabinet member, Cllr Derrick Ashley, will be rolling up his sleeves to serve refreshments and tea and cake will be on sale between midday and 4pm in aid of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust.

Cllr Ashley said: “I’m looking forward to putting on my apron to celebrate the Queen’s milestone birthday and help raise some money for a good cause.”

There will be an opportunity every hour to catch the train to Bricket Wood where St Stephen parish council is holding its 2016 festival in celebration of the Queen’s birthday.

It is being held at the parish centre and will feature numerous events including terrier racing, a dog show, music and dance displays together with a Great British Cake-Off at which residents will compete to create a 90th birthday cake for the Queen.

In Sandridge, the village summer fete from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday will also be a celebration of the Queen’s birthday.

The Sandridge Knitted Village, which includes models of the church - complete with a knitted vicar - local pubs, the village shop and the sports centre,

has been given a royal makeover for the Queen’s birthday.

The collection of knitted landmarks and houses will be decked in knitted bunting and feature royal visitors with cake when it goes on show at St Leonard’s Church.

The fete will also include crafts, games, stalls, scout activities and a barbecue.

A Right Royal Picnic and Street Party is being held from 12.30pm to 4.30pm on Sunday at Kimpton primary school. The village has close links to the royal family because it is less than four miles from St Paul’s Walden, the residence of the Bowes-Lyon family and the childhood home of the Queen Mother.

Villagers have been invited to dust off their picnic tables and blankets for an event which will include royal fancy dress competitions, croquet, tug of war, balloon modelling and an old-fashioned royal sing along.

Street parties are being held from 2pm to 6pm on Saturday at Charmouth Court, off Charmouth Road, St Albans, and at Pennycroft and Prospect Lane in Harpenden on Sunday where the road will be closed from midday for 150 to 200 guests to party. Hill End Lane in St Albans will also be closed all day on Sunday from 10am for a celebratory party.

For children at Sauncey Wood primary school in the town, tomorrow (10) will be the day for marking the royal birthday. Youngsters will be dressed in red, white and blue and as well as an opportunity to create their own crowns, there will be cucumber sandwiches and a bunting competition.

* A gospel tribute to the Queen is being held at 7pm on Saturday (11) at St Paul’s Church in St Albans in front of her personal representative Mrs Janie Wentworth-Stanley.

Organiser Lionel Wallace said: “We are delighted to be able to have the London Community Gospel Choir and many other friends back with us on this special occasion for a night which is sure to set the feet to dancing.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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