For Queen & Community


Rena Pathak outlines plans for a South Woodford Platinum Jubilee event this June to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II, and invites the community to get involved

In this Platinum Jubilee year, the country will celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 70th year as its monarch. On the first weekend of June, we’ll all enjoy an extended Bank Holiday Weekend to celebrate this very special event. Across the nation, communities will come together, hopefully under a baking sun, to attend street parties and celebration events.

Here in South Woodford, we will also be doing our bit to celebrate, and we are looking forward to the community getting together at our Platinum Jubilee Market in June. Many of you will be familiar with our regular street market (which is held on the third Sunday of every month) offering a wide range of stalls with gifts, artisan products and world cuisine. As the South Woodford Society, we are always planning community engagement, and part of this big idea is to hold two large events each year, one in summer and one in winter. Combining these community events with the market makes great sense.

Many of you will have fond memories of our first combined community event and market last Christmas, with the inaugural switching on of the festive lights. That event encapsulated the essence of our South Woodford community perfectly and was widely considered to be a great success. Many families came with their children and friends to enjoy the start of the festive season. As well as posing for non-stop photos, dignitaries mingled with snow queens on stilts and parcels on roller skates, and we all joined in with the community singing, which really created a special festive atmosphere. With sweet treats and mulled wine, there was something for everyone. One parent commented: “The atmosphere was lovely, and it was so wonderful to know this was happening in our own area.”

Many of you will also have happy memories of the street parties that were organised throughout South Woodford in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. So, for this summer’s event, we want to create a special Platinum Jubilee market so that we can all come together again and enjoy plenty of food, entertainment and, hopefully, some sunshine! So, please mark 19 June in your diary. Once again, the location will be George Lane. Of course, all your favourite market stalls will be there and we’ll be hoping local businesses will stay open and participate too. As well as what the market stalls have to offer, there’ll be live music to create a great atmosphere, as well as plenty of family friendly activities, including crafting, planting and making. We will have plenty of tables and chairs running down George Lane so people can sit, eat and relax. We have asked Redbridge Council for permission to allow the northbound carriageway of George Lane to be pedestrianised for the day (at the time of writing, permission is pending), giving even more room for seating, stalls and entertainment.

If you would like to get involved in the South Woodford Society or help or perform at this event, we would love to hear from you. We would also like to give local and young entrepreneurs an opportunity to have a stall at this – and other – markets. We’d really love South Woodford residents to play a big part in organising this event.

I look forward to seeing you all on the day!

The South Woodford Platinum Jubilee Market will take place on George Lane on 19 June from 11am to 4pm. For more information on booking a stall or getting involved, visit swvg.co.uk/jubilee

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