PICTURES: Sun and patriotic spirit shines across the district during royal celebrations

Colgate Primary School pupils enjoyed a party to mark the royal wedding. Picture by Hayley Rose Photography
Colgate Primary School pupils enjoyed a party to mark the royal wedding. Picture by Hayley Rose Photography

Royal fever graced the district over the weekend as people young and old celebrated the wedding of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Bunting adorned streets, parties were held and neighbours came together to raise a toast to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they tied the knot on Saturday.
Wimblehurst Road residents were among those celebrating by holding a street party.

The sun shone and around 60 guests enjoyed a delicious barbecue lunch with games, a quiz and a visit from Horsham MP Jeremy Quin and his wife.

Jeremy said: “What a great way to celebrate a very happy occasion - as everyone there from 18 months to nearly 90 years old seemed to agree.”

The road was closed for the occasion and numerous toasts were proposed to the Queen, to the bride and groom and there were happy birthday wishes for two long term residents, Bob Baveystock, aged 85, and Ivor Foote, 86.

In Bolney, hats of all shapes and sizes were on show as Bolney CE Primary School held a tea party to mark the occasion.

Special guests were invited including governors and members of the PTA committee.

Proceedings were opened with a song from the whole school and then guests tucked into scones while children enjoyed crisps and brownies.

School staff very kindly served everyone. The children had all made a hat and there were some very creative designs on show.

“It was fun wearing our handmade hats,” commented one pupil.

The atmosphere was very relaxed and the afternoon was finished with a blessing from the Reverend Ruth.

On Friday, children, staff and governors of Colgate Primary School celebrated with a wedding buffet lunch, complete with wedding cake, which all 140 pupils enjoyed together, in the beautiful sunshine in the playground.

The event sparked excitement and enthusiasm amongst the whole school and everyone involved, with one pupil remarking “when’s the Queen arriving?!”

Activities which have taken place at school this week include designing wedding dresses and wedding cakes and they even got to watch some footage of the last royal wedding between William and Kate.

Parent governor Stacey Lawrence said: “It has been such a great event for our little community school.

“Just a marvellous way of teaching our children about British values, allowing them the opportunity to understand the structure of our country and who the royal family are.

“Events such as ours at the school spreads positivity, is a great form of community spirit and gives the children a deeper and more meaningful understanding of things happening in our world today.”

In Billingshurst, the team at marketing agency PMW Communications gave a colleague a surprise regal send-off on Thursday as he prepared to get married on the same day as the royal couple.

The company’s courtyard was decorated with Union Jack bunting and the team toasted graphic designer Martin Duval with bucks fizz and traditional English scones and cream.

Martin, who married Sophie Wennington at Cissbury Barns in Worthing, commented: “The send-off at PMW was a complete surprise, so I’d like to thank them for such a kind gesture, complete with red carpet.

“When we found out that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had picked our day for their wedding, we did think it was a bit outrageous! But in fact it’s nice to think we will always have a connection with them.”

Peter Sutton, managing director at PMW Communications, added: “We are like one big family at PMW so we do like to make a fuss of important moments in our teams’ lives, and as Martin and Sophie’s wedding takes place on the same day as the royal couple, it gave us an excuse to make the celebration very British!

“We did try and arrange for Sophie to be part of our PMW celebration, but unfortunately with only a couple of days to go she had lots to do, including picking up her dress and their wedding rings – which are slightly more important – so we had a Sophie stand-in instead!”

Rabbit Patch Day nursery in Plummers Plain, Lower Beeding, held a Royal garden party on Friday.

Starting at 11am, the children were brought in to a transformed garden full of flags, games and bunting.The children had all designed their own flags too.

The children were split into teams of five and all the staff and parents were able to get involved with an array of garden games such as hook a duck, bean bag throw, sack and stilt race.

Suzi Peddle, deputy manager of Rabbit Patch Day Nursery, said: “We also had a football goal, so we could get excited about the FA cup final too. There was such a fun atmosphere floating around the garden.

“We then sat down to a barbeque of burgers and hot dogs at our outside dining area. There was so much chatter and laughter it was great.”

After this there was some more play and the youngest of the children were laid down for their afternoon nap while the other children partook in a crown contest in which the participants had to make a crown at home and wear it in.

All the contestants took turns to stand up on the garden stage to show off their creations to parents, staff and peers.

After choosing the third, second and first place positions the children were awarded with a commemorative spoon.

Suzi added: “We were then able to relax a bit and enjoy the beautiful afternoon ahead of us.

“Parents stayed to chat and mingle while they watched their children playing in the garden, climbing hills, balancing on the tight rope or lounging in the hammock while the hens were let out from their pen and began scratching around in the sun.

“A special thank you to Alex Tabor, the owner, For having such a wonderful setting to work and learn in. From all the staff, parents and children.

“All the staff, children and parents had a fun time and wish Harry and Meghan a happy life together.”

A care home in Horsham welcomed the local community for a special celebration to mark the happy occasion.

The sun was shining as Skylark House care home on St Marks Lane opened its doors for a ‘right royal knees up’.

The home was decorated with union jack bunting, and residents had their British flags and hats at the ready as they watched a live screening of the wedding and raised a glass to the royal couple.

Residents and guests got in the party spirit as they enjoyed a traditional street party to mark the special occasion, complete with a delicious buffet.

In Henfield, residents from Red Oaks care home in Henfield were among those enjoying a day of celebration.

Excitement had been building for the whole week when residents were busy making their own fascinators to wear and the home being decorated with bunting. There was lots of talk of what Meghan would wear.

On Sunday, residents dressed for the wedding wearing their fascinators with pride. Being treated to a wedding breakfast with family and friends joining to watch the ceremony shown on the big screen.

After cutting the fabulous wedding cake made by one of our chef’s residents were given the opportunity to visit our photographer to capture a memento of the day.

Sylvia a resident commented: “The wedding was fabulous, she looked beautiful. Being here was like we were all at the wedding, it was an amazing party.”

Linda Ryan, general manager of Red Oaks said: “Everyone enjoyed the occasion, dressing up, wearing their fascinators and all watching the wedding together.

“It was magical to see the smiles, and hear the comments from all the residents and relatives during the celebrations with people remembering other royal weddings and their own, we all had a right royal time!”

The royal wedding also gave Meals on Wheels customers across West Sussex something to celebrate, as more than 500 customers tucked in to a free cream tea to mark the occasion.

West Sussex County Council’s Meals on Wheels service, provided by apetito, served up the free cream teas to residents who wanted to mark the royal wedding.

John Figgins, West Sussex County Council’s head of catering services, said: “Many of our residents were watching the royal wedding with interest, and our Meals on Wheels customers were no exception to this.

“Elderly and often living on their own, they may not have seen anyone else on the day of the wedding other than their Meals on Wheels driver.

“So hopefully the free cream tea was a welcome little treat to enjoy in the afternoon whilst watching the happy event on television. It certainly seems to have gone down very well indeed.”

Apetito produces nutritious meals for hospitals, care homes and community services across the country. Meals can be booked for short periods or longer term and are delivered seven days a week, 365 days a year to suit a variety of dietary requirements.

They are delivered hot between 11am and 2pm and are cooked en-route in specialist Chefmobile vehicles.

This service not only provides nutritious meals but also makes sure older people have contact with people who conduct a brief safe and well check upon delivery of their meal. The service is available to all West Sussex postcodes.

Amanda Jupp, the county council’s cabinet member for adults and health, said: “It is wonderful to see so many of the council’s Meals on Wheels customers enjoying the royal wedding and their free cream teas.

“Meals on Wheels is a vital lifeline for so many people. It helps to promote health and wellbeing as well as enabling some of the county’s more vulnerable residents to remain independent within their own homes.

“As a service it supports people to live independent, safe and healthy lives on a day-to-day basis, but this weekend’s deliveries were extra special. I am delighted that they were so well received.”