Forncett Celebrates the Queen’s Jubilee – in 1897


As we look forward to celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee next month, it's interesting to look back at how previous Jubilees have been celebrated in the village. Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on 22 June 1897 and the people of Forncett St Mary celebrated the event in style, as reported in the Norfolk News.

The Jubilee celebration began with a short service in the church, and an hour after was devoted to the children's sports. Mr. Trudgill, a local traction engine proprietor, had volunteered to give the children a ride, and two waggons were provided in which the youngsters were taken in a circuitous route through Hapton, Fundenhall, to Tacolneston, where Mr. Mickleburgh (landlord at the Pelican P.H.) relieved their thirst and presented many with a Jubilee medal.

In the meanwhile the other parishioners partook of tea upon the lawn at the rectory. Tea was also provided for the children on their arrival. Then all adjourned to Mr. Falgate's meadow for sports. Afterwards Mrs. Cooper kindly presented the prizes and a display of fireworks took place on the lawn. The National Anthem was most heartily sung, accompanied by Forncett brass band, and cheers were given for the Queen. The committee, which consisted of the Rev. J.E. Cooper, Miss Cooper, Miss Salter, Messrs. Falgate, Keeler, Salter and Spicer, were thanked for their exertions in bringing about the successful result.

Forncett St Mary rectory where the firework display took place.

Mike Merrick and John Webster