Aren’t 4 day weekends a great invention. Of course not everyone is lucky enough to get the whole 4 days off, there are the emergency services (hopefully you didn’t need them), the shops for those last minute sausage rolls, the staff at the local takeaway and the publican and bar staff at your local hostelry. Then there are the telesales, warehouse and draymen who worked Monday and Tuesday to ensure there were adequate supplies of beer, the filtration and packaging staff who worked Tuesday to refill the supply chain and the weekend brewers who lovingly cared for the beer as it fermented away to guarantee the best condition possible.
For those of us lucky enough to have the time off it was clearly a time to celebrate, not just the Queen’s Jubilee but all things British.
I spent Saturday on the village green (on many occasions this is the site of great battles but only between local cricket teams) listening to music from local bands and sharing companionship and food with my neighbours and sampling some fine ales from the beer tent. I am sure this sort of activity has taken place on village greens for centuries.
Sunday saw a joint church service on the green then we went off to celebrate with relatives whilst there were further wet activities on the Green
On Monday evening we trekked through the fields (past the cows) to the top of the North Downs to light a beacon. This was a truly awe inspiring event, being able to look over the landscape and see another beacon glowing on the horizon (and imagine what it must have been like when this was the main source of communication in times of trouble). The view did include a communications mast with its red flashing lights and a number of street lights but the effect was there. This was finished off by a firework display before the long walk back by moon light (aided by some torches). Having reached civilisation again we all headed for the local ale house to have a much deserved beer, obviously only soft drinks for the children and drivers (some lived too far away to continue the walk all the way home)
Looking back then there appears to be a theme – there are many traditional British activities that were undertaken this weekend, be it celebrations on the village green, family gatherings or walks in the countryside and we should be truly thankful that the village pub can still be at the heart of the activity.
Stewart Tricker - Senior Brewer