EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE: Avoiding street parties since the Silver Jubilee

THE notice on the lamp-post contained a warning of an application regarding a planned street party in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Those who think they know me will be surprised, aghast, shocked almost, to find out I don’t really go in for big celebrations such as street parties.

But where can I go to avoid this jamboree? Maybe I could get myself locked in one of those Escape Rooms that were popular a few years ago or entrapped within a particularly difficult maze.

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I don’t care much for the forced jollity of birthdays, weddings or millenniums (not more than once every thousand years anyway) and still suffer flashbacks to 1977 when I was forced to take part in the Silver Jubilee celebrations on June 7 (I looked the date up).

It was busy, overcast, bunting linking the two villages I had to walk between to attend the party in the playing fields of a nearby school.

There were races, some stalls and, I assume, music (though I don’t think the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen was receiving much airplay). I took part in some running event and, much to my surprise and chagrin, didn’t win.

I assume that’s why I only received a shabby commemorative mug, which my parents must have flogged (I can’t find it but notice they are going for between £5.99 and £9.99 on eBay) in order to raise much needed funds as the mill in which my dad worked was going through a difficult time, its staff often on two-three days a week while the nation partook in its no-expense spared party.

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That wasn’t the big problem though, at least not in the eyes of my not yet ten-year-old self.

A procession of floats had been organised to ensure a road closure or to unnecessarily hold up traffic on the main street, and anyone who was anybody or had nothing better to do was forced onto one to represent some organisation they may have been vaguely connected with.

I was on the Glusburn Cricket Club truck and so was my brother, even though he didn’t play so had, in his defence, done nothing to deserve having to be put through the public shaming of being slowly transported through the village while waving at school mates who had lined the streets to laugh their heads off at you.

I had put no effort into my costume and was therefore given an England football top to wear.

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Worse though, a notice attached to some string and dangled around my neck bore the words “Emlyn Hughes”. Hell, I was on there as the very unpopular Liverpool and England defender (and future Rotherham United manager).

Yet someone had gone to great lengths to make something that looked like a pair of skis and a suitable outfit, including a fetching wooly white hat, for my brother, enabling him to look exactly like Austrian Olympic gold medalist skier Franz Klammer. Or someone else entirely.

“I look like a right k***,” he said on looking at pictorial evidence recently — he’s top left on the photo above — and offering unprintable comment as to why I might have been on the float as Formula One World Champion James Hunt (bottom left).

Except I wasn’t. That’s not me. I was Emlyn Hughes, and I don’t think I’m on the picture at all. I was probably hiding from someone I knew in the crowd or an adjudicator had deemed my effort too poor for inclusion and removed me from the float.

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I have no idea how the procession went — my parents probably didn’t either as they would have spent the time they had freed up after waving us off knocking back a few beers — as I closed my eyes, blocked out the view, smiled and waved.

I’ve been doing that ever since.

Andrew Mosley (Editor)

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