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A happy birthday to you, ma’am, from west Suffolk

Southgate Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds looking forward to a street party and community picnic to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday on Sunday ANL-160606-122836009
Southgate Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds looking forward to a street party and community picnic to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday on Sunday ANL-160606-122836009

Communities across the county are breaking out the bunting for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations this weekend.

On village greens, in town streets and all sorts of community halls and centres people are holding parties and putting on celebration fetes.

In the heart of Bury St Edmunds, the flag will be flying and the bells ringing from the Norman Tower as St Edmundsbury Cathedral celebratesQueen’s birthday with a special evensong and service on Saturday at 3.30pm.

It will begin with a procession from The Athenaeum of military, civic and legal representatives, including 100 Sea and Air Cadets and mayors from across the county.

Suffolk’s Lord Lieutenant, Clare, Countess of Euston, will be at the service which will be led by the bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Rt Rev Martin Seeley.

West Row’s Big Picnic celebration on the village playing fields on Saturday should live up to its name with everything from rural crafts demonstrations to a children’s royal fancy dress competition and a dog show.

The event kicks off just after 2pm with a birthday cake being cut by a 90-year-old village resident and finishes with a ‘Royal Pub Quiz’ from 4.30pm. In between, you can try bowls, watch or play diamond cricket and seven-aside-football, see model aircraft or get your face painted.

A water pump is at the heart of Hartest Green’s celebration on Saturday when, at 2pm former Beruit hostage Terry Waite is unveiling a re-enstated village water pump to replace one, which was removed in the early 1950s.

But there is also a flower festival, games and much more. The residents of the four Villages of Hartest, Boxted, Somerton and Fensted End are involved, but the afternoon is open to all.

At Southgate Community Centre in Caie Walk, Bury, they will be sitting pretty on Sunday for their event because a grant from Bury St edmunds Town Council has enabled them to replace 40-year-old plastic chairs with 150 ‘banqueting chairs’.

Southgate Community Partnership chairman Andy Abbott also led a two-day ‘paint party’ to spruce up the place.

Everyone in Southgate, Hardwick and Nowton is invited to a community picnic on the greensward outside the building from noon with a kings, queens, princes and princesses fancy dress at 1pm.

A commemorative group picture will be taken, at 2pm, to be framed and sent to Buckingham Palace.

Churchgate Area Association has organised a Sunday street party for the residents of the historic grid of Bury St Edmunds, in Whiting Street from 1pm, while residents of the town’s York Road are holding a street party where they will be joining up tables and chairs and have bunting, a barbecue and face painting.

Lakenheath Village Hall is hosting a street pary from 11am with all the events from London on a big screen plus a barbecue, bar, line dancing, music from Lakenheath Silver Band and reflexology tasters.

Barton Mills has its celebration on Sunday from 2pm to 6pm on the village playing fields with live music, fun dog show, bouncy castle, royal birthday cake, and a chance to take ‘royal’ selfie photos.

But if you prefer something more peaceful, Bury’s award winning Maison Blueue restaurant has a right royal lunch from 12.30pm.

Chef Pascal Canevet has created dishes paired with wines carrying the Royal Warrant at £75 a head, with a raffle for guest speaker Gina Long’s GeeWizz charity.


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