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Jubilee celebrations in the villages


Sewing bunting.

In the two small Hampshire villages of Compton and Shawford - and there are thousands of villages like this all over Britain, though perhaps few as well organised - the festivities are a stunning explosion of events, beginning with the Diamond Jubilee Ball on Saturday, 7:30 pm - 1 am, followed on Sunday, perhaps all too early, by a Treasure Hunt, Five Open Gardens, a Shawford-Compton cricket match, afternoon tea, served with Victoria 'Sandwiches' - a two-layer sponge cake filled with a layer of jam and whipped cream - and culminating with songs of Praise at the Jubilee Jubilate Commemorative Service in the Memorial Playing Fields pavilion at 6pm, where God happily receives heartfelt attention.

Monday opens with ceremony at noon, followed by lamb racing, a falconry show, a children's entertainer, race 2 for the lambs, children's races, bike & hat parades, the final race for the lambs, races for adults, a raffle, a music hall, a second falconry show, and competitions for the best photograph, tricycle and bicycle decorations, flowers-in-a-teacup, poem or painting for The Queen. At 5pm everyone fortifies themselves at home, and at 9:30 pm, all gather for a torch-lit procession to Shawford Down to light the beacon, which will join beacons being lit all over Britain.

Let it never be said that Britain's people lacked the gusto to celebrate.

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