Despite the mixed weather, both communities of Cliffe and Cliffe Woods celebrated the jubilee in style on Sunday 3rd (Cliffe) and Monday 4th Cliffe Woods. A fantastic effort by volunteers to put on events for their local communities.
Cliffe has a long tradition of fairs and carnivals and has more of a village feel than Cliffe Woods, but events like Sunday don’t just happen by magic. With key groups from St Helens Church, Friends of North Kent Marshes and Cliffe, Cliffe Woods Parish Council and many more. There were plans for a Big Lunch event, but the weather put paid to that (difficult to think that just one week ago it was so sunny and hot). Both on the Buttway and in the church, volunteers put on a series of events. Villagers were also able to watch the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on the big screen in the church. Despite the chilly and damp conditions it was estimated that about 1,000 people attended.
In Cliffe Woods there have not been any community events for many years and it is hoped this event will be the start of an annual event. Organisation and planning went well, but there was a risk and concern that the community would not support it. Overnight there was major rainfall and at the start of the day it looked like the event could have been a wash-out. But with a little re-organisation the event opened on schedule. The weather did improve and it was warmer than Sunday with actual sunny spells. The community turned out en-mass to support the day with, especially, children enjoying the Bouncy Castle and Coconut Shy. Numbers exceeded expectations and the barbeque ran out of burgers and hot dogs (even emergency supplies from the village supermarket were soon used up). The event certainly achieved, and exceeded, the aim of getting villagers of Cliffe Woods to the Community Centre and Social Club in numbers. With the encouragement of the villagers and the efforts of the event team of the Cliffe Woods Community Association, Social Club, Cliffeara, and Emmanuel Church, another, even bigger, event next year looks promising.
Thank You to all those people who have been planning these events for months and gave their time on the day. My faith in the local communities has been refreshed.