Thanks for the party Ma’am!

The Diamond Jubilee River Pageant
The Diamond Jubilee River Pageant

HARTLEPOOL and east Durham celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in style.

Street parties, garden gatherings, lunch parties and dozens of different quirky activities have all been organised in the past few days.

Children at St Aidan’s C of E Primary School, in Hartlepool’s Loyalty Road, enjoyed a jubilee lunch in school.

Elaine Peeke, business manager at the school, said: “The kids absolutely loved it.

“There was a real street party atmosphere, it was a fantastic day.”

Meanwhile, youngsters at Fens Primary School, in Mowbray Road, in the town, all wore red, white and blue and enjoyed a day of activities.

The youngsters learned about the history of the monarchy and took part in games.

And in east Durham, youngsters from Yohden Primary School, in Windsor Terrace, Horden, have planted more than 700 flower pots and 60 hanging baskets containing red, white and blue flowers.

The youngsters gave away the Royal-themed blooms to older people in the community, including Horden Luncheon Club members as well as elderly residents in Easington.

The project was funded by Durham County Councillors Paul Stradling and Dennis Maddison, who represent Horden, and councillors Dr David Boyes and Alan Barker, representatives from Easington and the East Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP).

Youngsters at Lynnfield Primary School, in Grosvenor Street, Hartlepool, celebrated the jubilee with an old fashioned British country dance.

Children of all ages celebrated together and performed their country dance on the school field.

In nearby Elcho Street, in the Lynnfield Centre, a group of ladies enjoyed a lunch to mark the occasion.

The Lynnfield Ladies, who meet every week at the centre, thoroughly enjoyed their gathering.

Sam-Amy Kidson, centre assistant said: “It was a really nice afternoon.

“Everyone enjoyed it, it was a great way to celebrate the jubilee.”

Meanwhile, in Blackhall, around 350 children from the Blackhall Colliery, St Joseph’s and Hesleden primary schools took part in a Big Jubilee Lunch.

The event was organised in partnership with Monk Hesleden Parish Council and the youngsters enjoyed an action-packed day which included a storyteller, cup cake-decorating, arts and crafts, circus skills, dancing, music and numerous sporting activities.

Council chiefs and school bosses had planned for the event to be held in the village’s Welfare Park.

But despite rain showers on Thursday seeing the activities moved to the classroom, spirits weren’t dampened.

Manor College of Technology, in Owton Manor Lane, Hartlepool, held a non-uniform day with a red, white and blue theme while youngsters enjoyed a variety of activities.

The Year 8 pupils took part in a Britain’s Got Talent-style competition, Year 9 pupils enjoyed sports and a Jubilee picnic while the Year 10 pupils designed their own crown and held a party.

Pupils at Brougham Primary School flew jubilee kites and West View Primary School youngsters looked good in Union Jack face paints.

Earlier in the week senior citizens from the local community were invited into Manor College of Technology for an afternoon tea, baked by the staff and served by the pupils.

Paul Moffat, assistant headteacher, said: “We decided to make a day of it to celebrate this landmark occasion.

“The staff and students all got involved in the spirit of the day and everyone had a great time.”

Anne Malcolm, headteacher, said: “We celebrated the event because we feel it is important our pupils understand this is a significant event in our nation’s historical and cultural heritage.

“Pupils have enjoyed Jubilee-themed lessons and the staff have been fantastic in organising tea parties, time capsules, singing events, art projects and a whole host of other activities which have allowed pupils to take part in the celebrations.”

Meanwhile, care home residents were treated to a performance by singer Shirley Mac to mark the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Staff and residents at Bannatyne Lodge Care Home, in Manor Way, Peterlee, enjoyed the live music on offer.

Patriotic business park bosses marked the Diamond Jubilee by offering tenant companies some typically British gifts.

Staff at Wynyard Park all wore red, white and blue to celebrate the occasion and handed out cup cakes, a box of tea, some bunting and other party items.

Every tenant was also invited to enter a free competition offering a pair of return train tickets and overnight accommodation to visit the Crown Jewels, in London.

Kimberley Anderson, Wynyard Park’s executive support manager, said: “We like to regularly show our tenants just how much we appreciate them, and we felt that the celebrations around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee provided us with a perfect opportunity to do that.”

Meanwhile, scores of people gathered at the opening of the new Jubilee Viewpoint at RSPB Saltholme.

Sixty people, one to represent each year of the Queen’s reign, attended the event at the nature reserve, in Tees Road.

Dave Braithwaite, RSPB Saltholme’s site manager, said: ““We were really excited by the prospect of creating such a wonderful facility for visitors to Saltholme in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

“Naming it the Jubilee Viewpoint was an inspired idea that will mark this part of the site for posterity.”