A Great British occasion
Visitors flooded through the gates of Alton’s Public Gardens to join in the national celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The Great British tea party was opened by the Town Mayor Matthew Bayliss, who then introduced councillors Miss Bisi Eni-Olotu and Dean Phillips, entertainment hosts for the afternoon. With great enthusiasm and in very British attire, they escorted the audience on a musical journey through the decades.
First to take the stage at midday were the youngest performers of the afternoon, The Holybourne Singers Young Voices choir singing jazz tunes from the 1920’s. Vox Vintage were next, joined by local resident Michael Twiddy, all dressed in wartime uniforms performing classics from the ‘30’s and ‘40’s.
Alton Town Council hosted an afternoon tea for residents of Alton and Holybourne aged 90 and over. The tables were decorated in red, white and blue with beautiful homemade cakes from the Alton WI and finger sandwiches donated by the Country Kitchen, who were catering from the’Horse Box Café’ on the day.
Later in the afternoon, the musical entertainment moved into the Beatles era with student band Nyoka from Eggar’s School. They were followed by popular local group the Triple Aces, who entertained visitors with their energetic rockabilly style.
The Alton Community Choir performed songs from the 1950’s and ‘60’s, and the last musical performance of the afternoon featured students from Amery Hill School, whose wind ensemble played a medley of Disney and other well-known family favourites.
Despite the occasional heavy downpour, in true British resolve the show went on, with many staying to the end to participate in the moving service delivered by the churches of Alton in honour of the Queen. The service was accompanied by the Salvation Army Band and included a small contingent from the Alton Air Cadets 613 Squadron, who performed a guard of honour with their standards.
Invited guests aged 90 and over who could not be with us on the day will receive a commemorative mug and slice of cake to mark the occasion.