College students step back in time to celebrate Queen’s diamond jubilee

Marilyn Monroe lookalike Wendy Rogan.

Marilyn Monroe lookalike Wendy Rogan.

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GLITZ and glamour came to a college to launch the countdown to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Some of the biggest stars of the 1950s were on show at Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, yesterday.

Behind the guises of Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley were Hartlepool Borough Council’s cultural services team.

They were getting in the spirit of things to promote this summer’s Diamond Festival, the biggest event in town this year to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years on the throne.

Michelle Daurat, the council’s events and visitor service manager, said: “With the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, 2012 will be a memorable year for the UK and Hartlepool will be playing its part.

“We’re inviting people to step back in time and relive some of the classic entertainment from the decade The Queen came to the throne and some of the later years as well.

“It will be a right royal celebration like no other and we’ll be encouraging people to add to the fun by coming along in 1950s costume.”

The fun-packed retro extravaganza will run from Friday, June 1, to Tuesday, June 5, and will transport the town back six decades.

Highlights of the Diamond Festival – most of which will be based in or around Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, off Marina Way – include:

l A 1950s children’s wonderland with nods to famous television characters such as Noddy and Pinky and Perky plus Sunday Evening At The Hartlepool Palladium – a tribute to the classic TV show, featuring 1950s-style acts with a contemporary twist.

• A 1950s fashion show, music and dancers, street theatre, a fairground and an evening Retro Royal Knees-Up, which will bring the 1950s right up to date with today’s talent.

• A Big Jubilee Lunch – Sunday lunch in a marquee to remember the spirit of the Silver Jubilee street parties of 1977.

• Relive the punk mayhem of 1977 with an alternative musical celebration by tribute band The Sex Pistols Experience.

• A 1950s Film Festival – a 12-hour marathon at the Town Hall Theatre, in Raby Road, featuring Lady and the Tramp, Jailhouse Rock, Some Like It Hot and War of the Worlds.

• Relive some Hartlepool dance magic at a re-creation of the town’s much-loved Queen’s Rink Dance Hall in the Borough Hall.

• Join the crowds to watch the lighting of the Headland and Seaton Carew beacons as part of the national beacon-lighting ceremony.

• Greasemania – an invitation for teenagers to slip into their prom dresses and coolest suits to enjoy the songs of the classic American High School film.

Tickets for the events will be on sale soon with details to be announced in the Hartlepool Mail.

Organisers say some of the events will have small admission charges.