Norfolk youngsters to use past events for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

What would it have been like celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee 115 years ago?

And what would you wear to a Victorian event marking such a prestigious milestone?

The parties, processions and pageants of the past are set to be used to inspire Norfolk's youngsters to get involved in this year's jubilee events.

Education leaders have created a jubilee pack which has been sent out to all of the county's schools to encourage children to find fun ways to mark the Diamond Jubilee in June.

It includes a series of activities – from imagining themselves among the crowds that gathered in Norwich market place in 1897, to designing a new crown for Queen Elizabeth II – to ensure jubilee fever reaches the county's classrooms this summer.

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The tasks aim to infiltrate lessons across the curriculum, from maths and science to art and design and history. Playing a key part will be a series of archive images from the 1897 Diamond Jubilee, tracked down by the Norfolk Record Office at County Hall.

Ian Mackie, Norfolk County Council's deputy leader who is overseeing the authority's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, said: 'There are some lovely pictures of Norwich at that time and an historical record captured in an extract from Mackie's Norfolk Annals of June 1897.

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'The records of commemorative events show how important capturing a flavour of 2012 will be for future generations, and in creating a sense of place and belonging.

'I am sure from the events already planned across Norfolk in 2012, with over 100 events so far, we will do our Queen as proud as our ancestors did for Queen Victoria over a century ago.'

Among the old photographs found in the archive is an image showing a packed market place in Norwich as thousands of people gathered to mark Queen Victoria's special day. Youngsters will be encouraged to bring in a photograph of themselves to place in the crowds so they can imagine being part of it.

Pages from the journals of Norfolk woman Hilda Zigomala will help to bring the celebrations of the past to life. And copies of receipts for the food bought for a party in Briston, near Holt, will reveal what went in to a 1897 jubilee feast – including a case of oranges from Peek Frean and Co, biscuits and cases of ginger beer from 'provision merchant and tea dealer' Samuel Reynolds.

Having looked at the archive material, children will also be asked to think about fitting celebrations for this year's event, from designing a jubilee stamp or creating a school time capsule so future pupils can see how the anniversary was marked, to coming up with a menu fit for a Queen, packed with Norfolk produce.

Other activities include jubilee word searches and maths games, writing a front-page newspaper story about the celebrations, and researching how life has changed during the Queen's reign.

Alison Thomas, county council cabinet member for children's services, said: 'This wonderful teaching resource will assist schools in this remarkable year. I think this is a great way to link learning with this momentous event, and I encourage Norfolk's schools to embrace this opportunity.'

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