Smiles everywhere as Suffolk jubilee celebrations get underway

Jan, Darcie and Niamh watching the parade. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Jan, Darcie and Niamh watching the parade at Felixstowe - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Communities across Suffolk began a four-day right royal knees-up yesterday with a series of special celebrations to mark the Queen's platinum jubilee.

There were parades, exhibitions, the sight of the Red Arrows heading for Mall flypast, and the first of nearly 200 street parties as people celebrated Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne.

Hundreds of people lined the seafront in Felixstowe to watch the Jubilee March parade

Hundreds of people lined the seafront in Felixstowe to watch the Jubilee March parade - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

At Felixstowe, the town centre and seafront came to a standstill as crowds gathered for a jubilee parade and a flypast by a Lancaster bomber.

More than 120 youngsters from the TS Landguard Sea Cadets, Felixstowe Army Cadet Corps, Felixstowe Air Cadets along with members of Guides and Scout units from the town, gathered to march down Hamilton Road, down Bent Hill and along Undercliff Road West to the Town Hall.

Crowds were treated to a fly-past by a Lancaster bomber

Crowds were treated to a fly-past by a Lancaster bomber - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The parade was led by standard-bearers of the units and also veterans from the Royal British Legion carrying their flags and the Leiston Royal British Legion Band.

Mayor Sharon Harkin read the official jubilee proclamation and Rev Andrew Dotchin, vicar of St John with St Edmund churches, gave a blessing.

Hundreds of people lined the seafront in Felixstowe to watch the Jubilee March parade.

The Felixstowe jubilee march - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Elsewhere, the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, paid tribute to the Queen, saying she "most remarkable" and the country is celebrating "an unprecedented anniversary of service".

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He said: “I have to remind myself that she has been serving actively as our Queen since before I - and most of us - were born. 

Hundreds of people lined the seafront in Felixstowe to watch the Jubilee March parade.

Hundreds of people lined the seafront in Felixstowe for the parade featuring cadets, youth groups and veterans - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“She has done and continues to do so with the most astonishing calm, and a wisdom that is born of her Christian faith and her experience of the world in all its joys and its fragility. 

“As each year had passed, she has given us a sense of stability and continuity when so much else changes, and a sense of goodness, dignity, and of living to serve others when much in our world can belie those values. 

Hundreds of people lined the seafront in Felixstowe to watch the Jubilee March parade.

A marching band led the parade through the town centre to the seafront - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“Her faith is clear and strong, and she is very explicit about her belief in God and her following of Jesus Christ. That of course is her deepest strength and we continue to pray that God will protect her in the years ahead.”

Hundreds of people lined the seafront in Felixstowe to watch the Jubilee March parade.

The parade brought Felixstowe town centre and seafront to a standstill as people marked the platinum jubilee - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Among those events launching the celebrations was a party for 270 employees at Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd at Ransomes Europark, Ipswich, where those taking part enjoyed food and fun, including target golf and funny hat competitions, and posing for a celebratory company photo.

Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd celebrated the Jubilee with a special afternoon for their staff.

Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd celebrated the Jubilee with a special afternoon for their staff. Winner of the silly hat competition Sam Hitchin. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd celebrated the Jubilee with a special afternoon for their staff.

Jack Steer and Jo Barber on the new replica of Prince Philip's carriage at Ransomes Jacobsen's jubilee party - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Towns and villages have events lined up over the next few days - from big community-wide celebrations to streets parties and family gatherings.