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Sunday 6 February saw over 200 Arundel residents and visitors gather together to mark not only the start of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year but also the start of the Jubilee celebrations in Arundel, when a commemorative tree was planted in Jubilee Gardens by the Mayor of Arundel.

The Town Crier and Deputy Mayor Angela Standing presided over the opening of the event with a traditional proclamation and Lancing Brass entertained the crowd both before and after the ceremony with a rousing selection of songs from all decades of the Queen’s reign.

Children and staff from Arundel’s two local primaries, Arundel Church of England Primary School (ACE) and St Philip’s Catholic Primary, as well as from 1st Arundel Scout Group were in attendance. Original poems written and read by St Philip’s pupil Amara, ACE pupils Olga, Ava and Madeleine and Cub Scout James added to the real sense of community that was evident on the day.

In his speech, the Mayor of Arundel Tony Hunt said:

“We are delighted that Her Grace, the Duchess of Norfolk is able to be with us and that we are also able to welcome Caroline Nicholls, Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex, with David Nicholls.

In this Jubilee Year our Lord Lieutenant has set a goal of planting 70,000 trees in West Sussex, that is 1,000 trees for every year of the Queen’s reign. So after today Caroline, you only have 69,999 to go!”

The Mayor continued:

“In a famous speech on her 21st birthday Princess Elizabeth had promised us all: “that my whole life, whether it be long or small, shall be devoted to your service.” The Queen has kept that promise.  As Prince William said recently in her commitment and dedication to the country Her Majesty the Queen epitomizes public service. Through all the turmoil and all the massive changes of the last 70 years, the Queen has provided us with a reassuring sense of continuity.

And that is what we are celebrating as we plant this tree today. 70 years of outstanding service to this country. God Save the Queen!”

Town Events Manager, Tracy Clayton said,

“I was delighted to speak to some of the many residents and visitors who turned out to celebrate this special anniversary with us; some visitors had come from as far afield as Kent!  Despite the stormy weather at the start of the day, the sun shone on us for the duration of the event, proving that Arundel is indeed a special place in which to live, work and visit. We appreciate the support of the many people who made this event possible, and would like to thank Arun District Council for their support via the Welcome Back Fund.”

Click HERE for the poems written and read by St Philip’s pupils, ACE pupils and Cub Scouts.

– Photos courtesy of Nigel Cull