The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria 1897

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria 1897

In Brockham, the commemoration of our gracious Queen's prosperous reign for sixty years began with a Thanksgiving Service inBrockhamChurchon Sunday June 20th. A special form of prayer and thanksgiving, drawn up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and special hymns recommended by our own Bishop were used. The Vicar preached both morning and evening, and founding his discourses on the texts - "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king" (1 Peter ii 17) "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's (St Mathews, xxii 21), he pointed out several most important subjects that should engage our prayerful attention at the present time.

When Morning Prayer was ended, the west door of the Church was opened, and the Vicar, choir and congregation proceeded through it to the churchyard to dedicate a little oak tree that had been planted there a few days before as a memorial of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The tree was planted in the south west corner of the Churchyard about nine feet from either wall, and, in the exact corner stood a large flag, the Royal Standard, kindly lent by Mr Kempe. Underneath the Royal Standard the Vicar took his position, and on either side of him the choir in their robes stood in the form of the letter V, with the tree in the centre, and the whole congregation standing at the open side of the letter next the Church. The service commenced with the hymn 279, "O God our help in ages past". Then followed a short reading of Holy Scripture, Genesis xxvii 16 - 22; and then an address pointing out the custom in all ages of setting up memorials of great events, and adding it was a most pleasing

thought that we had set up that day, not a dead memorial of metal or stone to one who had been taken from us; but a living memorial to a living Queen who still dwelt among her people. Long may she reign and be a blessing to her people. The address was followed by prayer, and the service concluded with hymn 550, "All people that on earth do dwell.

An Account of Jubilee Day

"Our little village was quite en fete last Tuesday, when Brockham celebrated, what is commonly known as Jubilee day. The houses round the green and elsewhere were made quite gay with bunting and flags of all descriptions, and everyone did their best to prove their loyalty and show their sympathy with the undertaking.

At a very early hour the Green was being marked out for the sports which were to commence at 1 o'clock, and many busy helpers at a large barn kindly lent for the occasion by Mr Constable, doing their very best for a good tea for the whole of Brockham. Kind friends brought flowers and greenery, which was tastefully arranged on the tables, whilst others made the barn look festive with bunting and flowers; many were cutting up bread and butter, cake and so forth, so that all thanks is due to the many kind helpers who were very ready to help in this way, and so helped to add to the day's enjoyments.

It is sad Brockham has no bells to peal forth on these occasions, but the day may come when its peal may be heard for miles around, so we had to be content in listening to distant merry peals and fancying they were ours.

The morning was a beautifully cool balmy one, and the flags floated quietly but majestically in the breeze, but as the hours went by and 12 o'clock arrived the sun shone in its full splendour and everyone remarked "this is really Queen's weather" and as the day wore on the heat grew and grew and everyone longed for a few more trees on the Green to give more shade. At 1 o'clock, or shortly after, the sports began and were kept up most energetically until 6 o'clock. Many of the races and tugs-of-war were watched with great interest, and one felt sorry there were no more entries in the women's races, for as there is more novelty in seeing women run, one would have liked to see 20 or more all start together

The band arrived at 3 o'clock, and at once began to sound forth its Jubilee music, which was well kept up until 9 o'clock when it had to be carried back to Town from whence it came with the report that the Royal Pageant had passed off splendidly with no accident, let or hindrance of any kind.

At 4 o'clock there was a move made to the barn for tea and everyone seemed thoroughly to enjoy the meal, there being plenty of tea and plenty to eat and plenty of kind helpers to make everyone welcome; the tea was kept going until after 6 o'clock.

The prizes for the sports were kindly given away by Mrs McClenaghan at 6 o'clock, and the days proceedings were brought to a close by a Torchlight Procession round the Green with a display of rockets, and punctually at 10 o'clock the remaining torches were thrown onto a heap to make a small bonfire, and all the party sang most lustily, God save the Queen. So ended a very happy day in the annals of Brockham."