Portsmouth Cathedral hosts Platinum Jubilee celebration to mark Queen’s ‘historic’ reign

JUBILEE-themed cocktails flowed, children won prizes playing hook-a-duck, and the community enjoyed an afternoon tea together as Portsmouth Cathedral held a Platinum Jubilee celebration.

Thursday, 9th June 2022, 3:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2022, 3:23 pm

Families, couples, and individuals sat on flag-covered tables on the grass outside the Old Portsmouth church, while youngsters played games on the grass.

Jemima Crayden, the event organiser, expected to see between 200 and 300 guests over the afternoon.

She said: ‘We are welcoming veterans, all the local neighbours - it should be a lovely afternoon.

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The jubilee street party at Portsmouth Cathedral. Picture: Mike Cooter (050622)

'We've done as many little activities as we can.

'There's a jubilee cocktail with The Dean's Tipple gin.’

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The outside of the cathedral was lined with bright bunting in different colours and patterns.

Anthony Cane (Dean of Portsmouth, centre) with Susan Hill and Gurbinder Kalirai at the Portsmouth Cathedral street party. Picture: Mike Cooter (050622)

Jemima added: 'This bunting was made out of recycled materials - we've got around 100 metres of the bunting.'

Nick Ralph, canon at the cathedral, said: 'It's a wonderful day and we are all thoroughly enjoying being able to be outside together post-covid.

'We are hoping - and praying - that the rain stays off.'

Jemima - one of a 15-strong Cathedral team made up of staff and volunteers running today's events - added: 'I think it is important to celebrate because it is such a historic event.

The jubilee street party at Portsmouth Cathedral. Pictured: Philip Hill (82), John Vincent (76), Wendy Hill, Nigel Gauntlett (81) and Jackie Gauntlett. Picture: Mike Cooter (050622)

'It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate properly together - we're really focusing on bringing the community together.'

A jubilee trail was created for the weekend, leading youngsters around the cathedral on a hunt for a missing shoe which had been stolen by a naughty corgi.

The game is based on an incident from several years ago, when the Queen Mother lost her shoe while visiting the cathedral.

Dina Iusupous and her five-year-old daughter Vasilisa were taking part in the jubilee trail inside the cathedral.

The jubilee street party at Portsmouth Cathedral. Picture: Mike Cooter (050622)

Visiting relatives in Portsmouth from their home in Birmingham, the family are originally from Russia.

Dina said: 'It's important for us to celebrate the jubilee as we're British now.

'It unites the nation, something like this.

'When people ask me what I like about being British, I say it's the community.

'I think the way people are supportive and understanding, and I like that they encourage the street parties.'

Dina added that Vasilisa's name is particularly fitting for the celebration, as the word translates from Greek as 'Queen'.

Sat at one of the street party tables, Southsea resident Liz Crawford said that she has been watching jubilee celebrations on the television all weekend.

A regular church attendee, she said: 'This place was really helpful to me when I was going through a bad time.

'It's a nice community - everyone's very welcoming.'

As well as Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the cathedral also held several services today - including one for HMS Glamorgan veterans.

Anthony Cane, the Dean of Portsmouth, said: 'We have had 300 members of the HMS Glamorgan Association here for a service

'We have a memorial window in the cathedral.

'It has been emotional for them to come here and leave a wreath and give thanks.

'It was a significant and poignant moment.'