This month, we’re celebrating and giving thanks for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years of dedicated service to our great nation – on this, her Platinum Jubilee. For the vast majority of us, Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch we have known in our lifetimes, and her unwavering dedication to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth is exemplary.
Towns and villages across North East Hampshire celebrated this special day as a community – from Sherfield on Loddon’s Village Green Jubilee Event to Mattingley’s Jubilee Beacon event, I so enjoyed seeing our neighbours come together to mark the occasion.
These events followed a year of celebrations leading up to the Platinum Jubilee – including when our local schools and community groups took part in the ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ initiative to create the ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’. As part of this, Westfields Infants School in Yateley planted a brilliant total of 42 broadleaf trees, and Odiham Parish Council planted 16 apple trees, 7 pear trees, 6 plum trees, and even a quince tree! This is in addition to the ‘Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy’ project, which plans to plant 50,000 trees across the Commonwealth in honour of HM The Queen’s lifetime of service to all of its 54 member states. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Hook Junior School, and Hartley Wintney’s Oakwood Infant School to plant a tree on their grounds as part of this project in 2019.
Over the Jubilee weekend, I attended local celebrations and joined the residents of Odiham to enjoy a community picnic and music as part of their Street Party. As District President of the Bramshill District Scouts, and as a former Scout there myself, I was delighted to open the 7th Bramshill Hook Scout Group’s Village Jubilee Celebrations, where the community came together and had great fun enjoying picnics, games and ice cream.
Some events across the constituency were supported by grants made available by the government, along with funding from Hart District Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council – like BDBC’s ‘Jubilee Fund Grant Scheme’ and Hart’s ‘Councillor Community Grant Scheme’.
Beyond North East Hampshire, it was great to see the celebrations taking place across the nation, including the impressive display at Trooping The Colour, and the Jubilee Beacons that lit up the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. I’m sure that like me, you will have been lifted by the patriotism demonstrated over the Platinum Jubilee Weekend. We are incredibly fortunate to have been part of such an historic event, honouring our nation’s longest serving monarch – God Save The Queen!
I will be meeting with residents again soon at my upcoming ‘Tell Ranil’ sessions, and I hope to see you there too – the details are available at: ranil.uk/events and on my Facebook page. As ever, should you wish to contact me, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01256 702468.