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Plymouth Community Celebrations for The King’s Coronation

Bracken Jelier explores the history and tradition of a good old fashioned right Royal party, and finds out what Plymouth is doing on the street level to commemorate the occasion. 

Traditionally the UK has loved to gather on the streets for a party – for the neighbourly fun of it and to build community spirit at the street level. The Union Flag (not the Union Jack unless at sea) is brought out, the bunting erected and food and drink is abundant. It’s always been the way that we commemorate big events such as Jubilees and of course, Coronations. 

Street Parties have been recorded for hundreds of years. Dr George Gross, a Visiting Research Fellow in Theology at King’s College London says: “Going back to the Tudors, records from the British Library about Anne Boleyn’s 1533 Coronation saw a veritable overflowing of wine for the populace in the City of London, ‘at the great conduit in Cheap, a fountain ran continuously, at one end white wine, the other claret, all the afternoon’.”

He adds: “In Nottingham, Common Council minutes evidence coronation preparations for Charles I, ‘bells shalbe ronge att everie churche, and bonfires made in the streets’ in 1625. For Charles II’s coronation in 1661 – records show ’10 shillings.’ being spent on ‘payments for ringers … and flags for coronation day’ in Titchfield, Nottinghamshire, and a hefty £9 was spent in Thornbury, Gloucestershire for ‘ale att the coronation of King George I’ in 1714, with similar celebrations as far afield as Ireland, to Leith, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Weymouth.”

This year, for the Coronation of Charles, many groups and organisations are hosting The Coronation Big Lunch to bring neighbours and communities together to share friendship, food and fun. We are also encouraged to roll up our sleeves to help a local group, to supporting some of the UK’s best-known national charities, the Big Help Out on Monday 8 May will give everyone an opportunity to join in. Hundreds of activities are planned for the day by local community groups, organisations and charities including The Scouts, Royal Voluntary Service, National Trust and RNLI.

If you’re still looking for ideas to celebrate or get involved in volunteering to commemorate the Coronation, then here are a selection of things going on in and around Plymouth. 

Street Closures

Residents living in over 30 Plymouth streets are preparing to celebrate the King’s Coronation together, with plans to organise epic street parties for the Bank Holiday weekend. Visit Plymouth have put together a list of closed streets here so that there’s no surprises for people going about the city who may need to find alternative routes. Some streets will have parties over the course of a few days, as the public have been encouraged to celebrate the whole weekend so some have decided to hold multiple days of celebrations, and some wish to set up the night before.

Community Events

Ernesettle Coronation Carnival

Head to Ernesettle Green on 6th May and help celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. It starts at 11am with a walking carnival around Ernesettle, dog show, stalls, bouncy castle, refreshments, displays, music and games. This part of the day will finish at 4pm. It will then carry on centred around the play park and St Aidan’s with music, bar and food. All the celebrations will finish at 8pm.

Thanks to Plymouth City Council a Coronation Buffet and Open Afternoon will be held Tulgey Woods Sanctuary CIC, Mannamead. The 10 acres of mixed woodland in the heart of Plymouth will host a small buffet and social event for local residents. The woods will be open for anyone wanting to walk the paths but they cannot accommodate dogs. This is for local people who can walk to the event so we can keep our carbon footprint low.

Millbrook Football Club will be hosting the King’s Coronation from 10am live on the Big Screen. Food will be available, and they have a brand new coffee machine ready to go!

Head to the Elm Community Centre at Leypark Walk, Estover for Kings Coronation Celebration Day. 6th May 2023 1pm-4pm.

Tickets £5 per person for adult Royal Box option which includes 2 scones, jam & cream with fresh strawberries, fancy biscuits, and celebration cake plus a glass of fizz!

Tickets £3 for child option. You are encouraged to dress to impress and there will be live music entertainment, fun & games, crowns to decorate, and a raffle. Telephone 01752 787837 if you would like to reserve tickets. Payment will be cash on the day.

There will be a Games and Thrones Coronation Celebration at the Rees Centre in Pympton. They will be showing the coronation live in the community cinema and hosting activities for all the family with food and a small Lego build for the children to take away! 

Coronation Celebration: Picnic on the Promenade. How does a picnic sound? Celebrate the Coronation with friends in the picturesque location of Drake’s Reservoir on North Hill, Plymouth.There will be delicious food catered by the University’s Hospitality Team. You do need to pre-order picnic boxes, cheese scone hampers and sweet treats, such as traditional cream teas, brownie boxes and more.

Enjoy a free outdoor screening of the King’s Coronation on Saturday 6 May on the Barbican! The event will be free of charge and open to the public. There will be a party atmosphere on Quay Square and Southside Street (road will be closed) with charity stalls and stands, roving entertainment, children’s activities and a street party zone with tables and chairs for people to share food and picnics. The screening will take place on The Parade, and the stage will see community performances and live acts wrapped around the screening of Coronation events. On Sunday 7 May, there will be entertainment on the stage, with live bands in the afternoon until the live screening of the Coronation Concert taking place at Windsor Castle.

Head to Astor Field, Cattedown for a Coronation Picnic on Sunday 7th May from 12.30-2pm. Bring your own picnic and blanket – free hot drinks and cakes will be provided. 

The King’s Coronation – Best Dressed Lawn Party at Queen Anne’s Battery, Plymstock.

All weekend there will be a competition for ‘Best Dressed Boat’ on the marina, in celebration of the King’s Coronation on Saturday 6th May. Team members will be walking the pontoons and photographing potential entries – boats, owners, pets, children, tenders! Whatever it may be, dress it up and get in the spirit! On Monday 8th May from 10.30 there will be celebrations in style with Cream Tea, Coronation Chicken and some fizzy treats!

Plymstock Social Club will be hosting a Coronation Open Day. Children welcome till 18:30. Adults till 23:30. There will be everything a good community celebrations should have, from a BBQ to craft stalls, a raffle, tombola, Guess how many sweets in the jar, Bric-a-Brac, Throw sponges of water, Cake sale, Ice cream van and even a fire engine (unless called out)! In the evening will be holding a booze raffle and card bingo for adults only.

Bracken Jelier explores the history and tradition of a good old fashioned right Royal party, and finds out what Plymouth is doing on the street level to commemorate the Coronation.
Bracken Jelier explores the history and tradition of a good old fashioned right Royal party, and finds out what Plymouth is doing on the street level to commemorate the Coronation.

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