Chandler’s Ford has made a tuneful start to their Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations today as pupils from Fryern Hill infant and junior schools welcomed the Queens representative Dame Mary Fagan DCVO JP with a specially written song to celebrate the Queen’s long reign.
Dame Mary, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire and Britain’s most senior Lord Lieutenant visited the school before opening both the new Diamond jubilee garden and the newly restored pavilion on Fryern Hill recreation ground.
Headteacher Angela Morrow and Chairman of Chandler’s Ford Parish Council Margaret Atkinson welcomed Dame Mary and guests who included the Deputy Mayor of Eastleigh Rupert Kyrle and Winchester MP Steve Brine to the school. They were then entertained by the children who started with a rousing rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’ and their own jubilee song followed by a presentation which described their involvement in the planning and cultivation of the garden and recapped the highlights of the Queens 60 year reign during which the children revealed some little known facts about her majesty – for example she owns a Blackberry and several iPods!
Dame Mary told the children how much she had enjoyed their song and said she thought it was so good other schools should adopt it. She seemed particularly interested to learn that the children had grown an oak sapling from an acorn supplied by the Queens Sandringham estate which will later be replanted at the recreation ground.
The children also had a chance to ask Dame Mary some searching questions.
How was old the Queen? (85)
How big is she? (Not as tall as Dame Mary)
Some of the pupils then assisted Dame Mary in the garden ribbon cutting ceremony and watched as she hoisted the jubilee flag on the newly installed flagpole
Dame Mary said this was the first jubilee garden she had opened and complemented the parish council on starting their celebrations early.
Speaking on behalf of the Parish Council, Cllr Atkinson thanked John Morris and Paul Naylor for their work in preparing the garden and Cllr Michael Hughes for overseeing the project.
Many local businesses and individuals had sponsored the garden and Cllr Atkinson also extended thanks to Ahmad Teas, Johnathan Rees, Coopervision and Cllr Colin Davidovitz.
The party then toured the newly renovated Fryern pavilion. Cllr Graeme Smith described how the building had been in decline but following the rebuilding work was now a useful community space.
Cllr Smith said the project had been a good example of co-operation between the Parish and Borough Council.
Dame Mary then unveiled a commemorative plaque after which guests enjoyed refreshments provided by Waitrose.
The opening was also attended by representatives of the local community including councillors, members of the scouting organisation and police Safer Neighbourhoods Team.
Photos: © Andrew Gordon, full gallery of photos at Broomhill Photography