Wednesday, 5 June 2013

"God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen! God save the Queen!": 60 years 'on the job'

Yesterday, Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh were joined by their family, civic dignitaries, friends and vast numbers of well-wishers to celebrate the gargantuan achievement of 60 years since the coronation in 1953.

The Queen arriving at Westminster Cathedral (BBC)

We at Bermondsey Beach echo their great joy and sentiment, as we wish to express our thanks and loyal gratitude to the Queen and her consort for over half a century of public service; to many in Bermondsey she has been quite simply (in the words of Prince Philip) our 'strength and stay'.

St Edward's Crown used at the 1953 coronation (BBC)

At this, those of us with shorter memories may laugh, mock or sneer.  But, those who lived through World War II have a deeper understanding of the importance of having a constant and recognisable head of state: a figurehead, guide and safe harbour for the hopes and fears of a nation.  She is known around the world, and is well loved and respected, especially here in Bermondsey, for her tireless devotion to her people, as well as the many kindnesses that she has shown to others.  Never a complaint or dour face.  Always a warm, friendly greeting and the sense that you are the only person in the room talking to her.  Your majesty, take heart from the fact that we here in the 'royal' borough are right behind you, stalwartly supporting you every step of the way.

Dee, the Pearly Queen of Bermondsey (

Judging by the masses of bunting and union flags decking the fences and bushes of the Age Concern centre on Southwark Park Road, the staff and the much cherished older Bermondsey residents agree that 60 years on the job is a marvellous achievement and one that needed to be celebrated - with a good old Bermondsey knees-up!  The centre is drop in service for people over 55 providing a wide range of services and social activities.  Staff work tirelessly to improve physical and mental wellbeing - like the Queen, they know that activity is the key to good health and longevity.  Old friendships are rekindled and new ones forged here.  The centre provides exactly the sort of local service that Bermondsey can be proud of.

So, put out your flags this and every week: without fear, shame or prejudice.  Don't listen to the middle-class ΓΌber-elite playing their dangerous game of 'middle-class-muck-about'Patriotism is not racism, it is a natural spirit of life that lives within each and every one of us, giving us hope, unity and a sense of togetherness.  Ignore them when they criticise and berate us for flying our union flags with heart-swelling pride: we will wave them on the beaches; we will fly them on the foreshore; we will raise them on our land; we will drape them over our balconies: we will never be ashamed of our Queen and our beautiful flag - and neither will those partying hard on the job at the Age Concern centre.  Fly the union flag; play loudly the national anthem; and shout with great gusto, "God save the Queen!".


Age Concern
Yalding Centre
95 Southwark Park Road

SE16 3TY
Telephone: 020 7237 0860
Twitter: @age_uk

'God Save the Queen':

Age UK Coronation Memories:

No comments:

Post a Comment