You are in [Events] [Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897]

The Parish Magazine of July 1887 recorded Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee  – on 22 Jun 1897, a day of glorious 'Queen's' weather.

Photo Gallery:

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The summary of the day's events:

There was a peal of church bells starting at 6am; at 7am the Hungerford detachment of the Royal Berkshire Volunteers fired a feu de joie from the balcony of the Town Hall.

The band played "God Save the Queen" and those present gave three hearty cheers for Her Majesty.

At 10 o'clock the Hungerford Band played in the market place, and the parade to St Lawrence’s was at 10.30.

The meal this time was “capital meat tea” – a sort of “high tea”. It was restricted this time to children under sixteen, and to “old people aged 60 years or more”! There were only 1,000 people.

At 4.30pm the sports on the Downs commenced and consisted of races for boys, girls, adults, hurdle and bicycle races.

The sports concluded with the HUNGERFORD GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE. The course ran across a flagged route from above the Newbury Road, across the Meadows, Kennet and Dun Rivers, and Canal, to the Winning Post on the Downs.

The day's arrangements were ended by a torchlight procession through the town and a bonfire and fireworks on the Downs.

The full description:

The Celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen was in every respect a great success, and was commenced by special services on Sunday June 20th, Accession Day. The special form of service authorised by the Archbishop of Canterbury was used, and suitable hymns from the collection by various writers, published by Messrs Novello. The Bishop of Wakefield's hymn "Oh King of Kings" was sung at the commencement, and the National Anthem at the end of each service.

Appropriate sermons were preached by the vicar in the morning, and the Rev H P Brown in the evening at St Lawrence's; and the Rev H P Brown in the morning, and the Rev H D Butler, Rector of Inkpen in the evening at St Saviour's.

St Lawrence's Church was beautifully decorated throughout with red, white and blue flowers.

The offertery amounting to £5 11s 8d was given to the Jubilee Memorial Window Fund.

Jubilee Day itself, Tues June 22nd, was signalized by true "Queen's Weather", and will long be remembered by the inhabitants of Hungerford.

The day was ushered in by a joyous peal on the church bells from 6am to 7am. At 7 o'clock the Hungerford detachment of the Royal Berks Volunteers fired a feu de joie from the balcony of the Town Hall, under the command of Corporal Hawkes. The band played "God Save the Queen" and those present gave three hearty cheers for Her Majesty.

At 10 o'clock the Hungerford Band played in the market place. At half past ten a procession was formed consisting of the Band, the Volunteers, the Constable and Feoffees, the Fire Brigade, the Foresters, the Oddfellows, the Church Lads Brigade & the National School Children, and was marshalled by Mr G Cottrell, to the Church for the special service which commenced at 11 o'clock. The Vicar officiated and gave a short address. The service consisted of the National Anthem, the authorised prayers, Bishop of Wakefield's Hymn, the address, Calkin's Te Deum in B flat and the Benediction. It lasted half an hour. The musical portion of the service was admirably rendered by the combined choirs of St Lawrence's and St Saviour's, Mr Wren playing the organ with his usual skill and taste.The Church was densely crowded, every available space being occupied, numbers standing in the porch and churchyard unable to get in.

After the service the procession was reformed, and proceeded to the Market Place, where, as the clock struck twelve, the assembled inhabitants joined in heartily singing "God Save the Queen". 

At 3 o'clock all the children in the parish under 16 and the old people over 60 years of age and many besides, had a capital meat tea. Four long rows of tables, 18 in number, were arranged under the shade of the avenue of trees in the Mall, and it is computed that about 1,000 adults and children sat down to tea. The fair consisted of sandwiches, cake, and bread and butter for the children, while there was a large number of joints of cold boiled beef & ham for the adults.All thoroughly enjoyed themselves and had an excellent repast.

At half past four the sports on the Downs commenced and consisted of races for boys, girls, adults, hurdle and bicycle races, and concluded with the Hungerford Grand National Steeple Chase from the Newbury Road, through the two rivers and canal to the winning post on the Downs.

The day's arrangements were ended by a torchlight procession through the town and a bonfire and fireworks on the Downs.

The procession started from Eddington Bridge at 9.30 and went up High Street to the Town Hall, where a halt was made and the National Anthem was sung and three cheers given for the Queen. A start was then made for the Downs, and a large bonfire was lighted at 10pm.

The town was beautifully decorated with flags during the day, and illuminated with various coloured lamps at night, the universal opinion being that the inhabitants of Hungerford had never before made such a successful effort to demonstrate their loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign.

Everything passed off well and there was no hitch in the proceedings which commemmorated an altogether remarkable day.

See also:

- Parish Magazine, Jul 1887, Apr 1888.

- Queen Victoria's Jubilee, 21 Jun 1887

- Jubilee Celebrations at Hungerford - abstract from NWN report of events.

- King George VI's Coronation, 1937

- Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation, 1953

- Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, 2-5 Jun 2012