A life-sized knitted version of the Queen was on tour, travelling along the 1066 Community Rail Line, during the Jubilee weekend. Line officer Catherine Simmons worked together with Southeastern station staff and a local knitting group to bring the knitted Queen to life.
Created by Amanda Kerr and the Battle Yarn Bombers she was the culmination of many hours of work including a beautifully made dress, crown and orb. Alongside the knitted Corgi’s (created by Southeast Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP) CEO Fiona Morton and a local volunteer) who were already out on the line, Her Majesty toured the route by rail visiting stations and greeting passengers along the way. Jubilee-themed family activity bags that included a flag, crayons, stickers and activity spotter sheet, were given out to help encourage families to take the train.
Highlights included sitting on a throne, on loan from a local theatre prop hire company at Battle Station, tea and cake at Royal Tunbridge Wells, a Jubilee street party at Robertsbridge and a visit to the ‘A Town Explores a Book’ exhibition by children from a local primary school and artist Susan Millar.
Her Knittedness proved very popular and everyone was keen to grab a selfie!
In addition the SCRP was also busy developing a ‘Community rail congratulates Her Majesty’ commemorative trail, in partnership with GTR Southern Rail. This trail consisted of railway stations along the Arun Valley Line and the Sussex Coast Line proudly displaying the official photograph of the Queen and the Platinum Jubilee Emblem, with the message ‘Community rail congratulates Her Majesty’. Many stations also showcased local royal-related memorabilia, courtesy of station volunteer groups in the area.
Rowena Tyler, SCRP Community Development Officer said: “This was a marvellous opportunity for station staff and local groups, including schools, to enhance their station with local memorabilia as well as being part of the bigger project for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We are grateful to Arts Council England who funded the initiative, via Sussex Community Foundation”.
As part of the initiative, a local school designed royal crowns that were displayed at Hi-Coffee café at Bognor Regis station. The pupils created beautiful designs, using the pointillism style – lots of dots to paint, rather than brushstrokes.
The Jubilee weekend presented a unique opportunity to bring together local volunteers, railway staff, schools, passengers and Southeast Communities Rail Partnership during the planning and delivery of each activity.
See more of Southeast Communities Rail Partnership work on their website here.