A true British summer welcomed two back to back weekends of celebrations at the Cathedral.
As the sun shone and temperatures soared on the 26th-27th of May, perfect conditions were in place for the 2012 Open Garden weekend. With visiting numbers up from last year, the popular annual event, which is held in connection with the National Garden Scheme, was bigger and better than ever.
The weekend offered visitors a tour of the secret and private precinct gardens, a fantastic display of vintage cars, a hawk and bird display, a rare opportunity to visit the Bastion Chapel, and a number of stalls selling a variety of delights from refreshments and teas, to herbs and plants. Back for their third consecutive year, the Dover Bee Keepers, were so popular, they ran out of honey.
Months of work and preparation go into the weekend. All those involved were delighted at its success and popularity. “We want to thank everybody involved in this year’s Open Garden weekend” said Jocelyn Prebble, the event’s organiser, “It was a huge success and the gardens looked at their very best. The highlights for me were the beautiful Barn Owls, and seeing the reaction from visitors to the Bastion Chapel – what a gem. The hard work of those who helped and the generosity of those attending, helped ensure that we raised more money than ever for this year’s two nominated charities, Pilgrims Hospices and Send a Cow. Now we just have to top it all again next year!”
The Cathedral commenced official Jubilee celebrations on Sunday 27th May. Civil leaders and dignitaries, including the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Councillor Robert Waters, and the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle joined the Cathedral community to celebrate and give thanks for Her Majesty’s long reign at a Civic service.
The following weekend was the Jubilee bank holiday, and in sheer contrast to the previous week the skies were grey, the air was cool and the rain continuously poured. However, the appalling weather did not dampen the Jubilee celebrations at the Cathedral.
Hundreds of people, in high spirits and with waterproof coats, arrived on the Sunday to celebrate with a ‘Big Picnic’. Originally planned for the Green Court, the event was moved last minute into the dry shelter of the Benedictine Chapter House. The Bunting was re- hung, chairs and table moved and the Jazz band relocated to the sanctuary of the Cloisters.
The Archbishop and The Dean joined the slightly soggy party-goer’s and picnics were consumed to the melodious beats of the jazz band. There was jubilant dancing in the Cloisters, and fun was had by all as young and old came together to toast Her Majesty’s health.