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Beenham celebrates Queen's Platinum Jubilee with commemorative footbridge and family fun day



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Beenham marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by constructing a footbridge in woodland near the village and throwing a 1950s-style family fun day.

Volunteers from the village worked hard in Greyfield Wood throughout Friday, June 3, to have the bridge completed in time for its official opening at 4pm.

The footbridge was made from sweet chestnut grown in Greyfield during the Queen’s 70-year reign.

Pat Owen opens the new bridge with help from Felix Roe
Pat Owen opens the new bridge with help from Felix Roe

Beenham also held its fun day on Saturday, June 4, which saw a whole host of classic races and activities be enjoyed by all.

Pat Owen, the organiser-in-chief for Beenham’s Jubilee celebrations, said: “All in all it was fabulous really. With the fun day we were so lucky with the weather.

“We had a fabulous time with all the races, the bears in the woods, the wheelbarrow race went down well. The whole thing was just very nice indeed.”

Pat Owen opens the new bridge with help from Felix Roe
Pat Owen opens the new bridge with help from Felix Roe

Many villagers turned up at 4pm to see the completed bridge, with many of them enjoying homemade bakes and refreshments provided by volunteers.

The footbridge was opened by Mrs Owen and seven-year-old Felix Roe, whose older brother Edwin tragically passed away at the age of nine earlier this year.

There are plans to plant a tree in Greyfield Wood around Edwin’s birthday in November to commemorate his short but full life.

Mrs Owen said the village has rallied around Felix and his family following his brother’s passing.

Pat Owen opens the new bridge with help from Felix Roe
Pat Owen opens the new bridge with help from Felix Roe

“It might be a little village but we have a big heart,” she said.

The fun day was held on Beenham Recreation Ground on the Saturday afternoon. The afternoon began with a wheelbarrow race which was both sponsored by and started from The Six Bells pub, ending at the Recreation Ground.

The winning teams were the Dutch Duo Double Delight and The Poo Pickers who tied for first place after going around the track the wrong way.

Volunteers who built the bridge with Pat Owen and Felix Roe
Volunteers who built the bridge with Pat Owen and Felix Roe

Many races followed, such as the classic egg and spoon, dressing up and filling a bucket. Prize ribbons were presented by Graham Bowsher, chairman of the parish council and local farmer.

A barbecue was prepared by Beenham Primary School, St Mary’s Church provided refreshments, the Women’s Institute held a hamper raffle, The Six Bells sold drinks and ice creams, and Malcolm Arnold displayed his motorbikes.

Tina Adler, one of Beenham’s Jubilee organisers, said: “The whole community came together. It was lovely to be able to catch up with village friends, especially after all the lockdowns.”

Beenham villagers walking across the bridge for the first time
Beenham villagers walking across the bridge for the first time

The whole village performed a two left feet country dance organised by Frances Jones and her husband Bob, who played the accordion.

After tea, Lesley McEwen announced the winners of the highly successful scarecrow competition with the winning scarecrow being the very popular Mary Poppins made by Cathy and Brez Breslin.

The fun day ended with welly wangling, a tug of war between the east and west areas of the village, and a grand rendition of the hokey cokey.



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