Chester celebrated the 90th birthday of the Queen in style with a parade beginning at the Eastgate clock and a concert in town hall square. At midday crowds gathered in Eastgate street as Romans and Civil war soldiers erected temporary wooden gates beneath the clock. Matt Baker of Theatre in the Quarter led a brief rendition of “singing in the rain” before the Roman Centurion ordered “open the gates for Queen Elizabeth!”
The City of Chester Brass band led the parade followed by the giant smiling Queen herself , local choirs and schoolchildren. The parade headed down Eastgate street and then to Town Hall square.
Town Hall square had been furnished with tables and chairs for the public to sit and enjoy the free concert from several of the city’s choirs. The new Lord Mayor , Cllr Angela Claydon said that “what’s lovely about all this is that its bringing people of all ages together”. She echoed the words of Matt Baker who had praised everyone involved in the organisation including Chester university and the CH1 Chester BID group.
Musical performances from the borough’s choirs followed, beginning with the City of Chester male voice choir.
Chester Rock Choir stole the show with their rousing renditions of modern pop songs:
As the rain began to fall, the popular Handbag of Harmonies entertained the crowd, followed by a confident performance by Frodsham Manor House Primary School and their young visitors from Ghana.
A BBC news crew were in attendance, with the Boris Becker lookalike reporter commenting that :
“We’ve certainly had entertainment fit for a queen and though shes been fairly static throughout the proceedings its clear from the look on her face that shes ecstatic.”
Local schoolchildren then paraded back to Eastgate street, followed once again by the ever smiling giant queen, where they performed a medley of songs from the last 90 years. The children were gathered around the city’s vintage tour bus
Also watching was local MP Chris Matheson, whose daughter took part in the parade. He described the event as “the best of Chester. It’s a great atmosphere, this is what being in Chester is all about”
Before a final sing song, Cllr Sam Dixon closed the day’s events by thanking everyone involved in the celebration. “We hope you’ve enjoyed this event and I think its marvellous that the sun has come out!” she said. “I know that the Vicar in Newtown was arranging it for us. Particularly I want to thank Theatre in the Quarter and Matt for all your hard work. There’s been so many people working on this event and I want to say a huge thank you!”
Happy Birthday to the Queen !