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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 94

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How Ash celebrated in 1887
With the Coronation celebrations in Ash so vividly in our memory, it is interesting to compare them with Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations on the 23rd June 1887.
   Luckily there is a full account in the Vestry Book, from which e learn that Divine Service was held in the Church at 12 o’clock with address by the Rev J. Hill. The old people and widows, 50 in number, afterwards dined in the School Room. Tea was provided for children at the Rectory, parents and friends in the School Room. A supper in the evening of roast beef and plum pudding was arranged for 120, including a contingent from Ridley. Fireworks in the Rectory Field concluded the rejoicings.
   Eleven benefactors contributed a total of £22 16 0d, which was sufficient to pay all expenses and left a balance of £1 15s 2d which was given to Rochester Choir Festival.

                                    £    s   d
164 lbs of meat              6-16- 7
Groceries                      2-13- 7
Bread                           2-14- 7
Beer                             1- 7- 0
Fireworks                     1-10- 0
Ringers                         0-10- 0
Skudder fixing               0- 10- 9
Hire of China etc           1-13- 6
Tobacco                       0-12- 0
Forms of service
      and banner              0-12- 0
Hire service                   0-14- 0
Medals & Cedar Tree   0-11- 0
Extras                           0-15- 0
Total                          £21-0-10

   Note the price of beef, about 10d lb, to-day (1957) about five times that price.

Silver Jubilee 1935
On May 6th 1935 the Silver Jubilee of the accession to the Throne of King George V was celebrated with great rejoicings all over the Country. Our Village was not backward in its celebrations. A big Fete was held in the

 meadow opposite the Church. There were stalls, side shows and sports. Teas were served in the Parish Hall and after dark there was a firework display. A Christmas Tree commemorating this event was planted by Mr H.B. Nicholls at "High Leigh". The tree was brought from the slopes of Mont Blanc in 1930 and was then no more than 6 inches high, it is now about 20 feet in height.

Coronation of King George VI 1937
The coronation of King George VI took place on May 12th 1937. It was a lovely day and flags seemed to be fluttering from everywhere, including the bonnets of cars. A Village Fete was organised by a few of the inhabitants in the large meadow opposite the Church. The meadow was very full, there were side shows, sports and teas for all and all the children were given a Coronation mug or some other emblem. A coach tour of the Coronation route to see the decorations was a very popular item of the celebrations.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 1953
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 1953 took place on June 2nd 1953. As there were several house parties arranged for that day to see the Coronation on Television, it was decided to hold the general Village celebrations a few days beforehand. The celebrations included a conducted tour of the Coronation Route to see the decorations on May 28th, a Fete held in the usual meadow, an old people’s tea, a dance in the evening on May 30th, and the planting of a Coronation Oak Tree near the Church gate by the Women’s Institute. The conducted tour, a running buffet on the Fete field, 160 teas, and refreshments for the dance, were all organised by the Women’s Institute Coronation Committee.
   Mr H.G. Brooks was instrumental in getting the St John’s Ambulance band from Gravesend and also arranged for members of a Children’s School of Dancing to entertain on the fete field. The annual ceremony of the "Crowning of the School Queen", was another attraction for this memorable day. Another feature was a Children’s fancy Dress Parade. There were many sideshows, and children’s sports were organised, and every child was given a Coronation mug or some other memento of the

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