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Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, 1977 – The day in poetry

Norman Cleaver was born at 18 Brewers Lane, Badsey, in 1932. On leaving school, he went to work for Braziers, then went to work for his aunt on the ground at Bretforton, and then joined Midland Red where he worked as a driver for 32 years. After marrying Daphne in 1958, he moved to South View, 19 Brewers Lane, where he remained until his death in July 2005.

Norman loved to write poetry and these two poems capture the spirit of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee Day, 2nd June 1977. The first poem is all about what Norman thought might happen on Jubilee Day; the second poem depicts what actually happened.


The Jubilee is coming, well that's what I've been told,
And everyone must celebrate whether you're young or old.
We have all got to wave the flag and shout Hip, Hip, Hurrah
Because June 2nd '77 is the Queen's Jubilee Day.

The Union Jack will proudly fly right across the nation
As this royal event is brought to us on every TV station
People from all walks of life will celebrate with their Queen
To make this the best Jubilee the country's ever seen.

Every town and village will be asked to play their part
To make this a memorable day right from the very start.
So out will come the buntings of red, white and blue
And a few million little flags will all be waving too.

They're having a collection to try and raise some funds
So the kids can have a slap-up tea with lemonade and buns,
A disco for the younger set, but for the Dads and Mums
They will have to wait to see how far the collection money runs.

The day's events up Brewers Lane will be anything but dull
Because Beryl's going to bake a cake and Jack will be John Bull
With tables placed out in the road, no vehicles past the shop,
Because we'll have Ray Higginson as our special traffic cop.

My wife says I'm to wear a flag wound around my middle
I say, "I'll only do that if Jim Brailsford plays his fiddle."
We shall have to have some music if a prize were going to win
So how about Jim on his fiddle and Kate on her mandolin.

Daphne's having a field day with crowns and flags and things,
The National Anthem and Rule Britannia are the only songs she sings,
Our old tom cat so she says to her he won't go near
For fear of having the Union Jack tied across his rear.

They're going to tap their homemade wine whether it's old or new,
Bill Sparrow says he'll paint his pipe red, white and blue.
Dennis, more artistic will hang streamers from his bike
It promises to be the best show this side of Badsey Pike.

Now four stalwarts of the lane you all know very well:
Nance, Marg and Edie, not forgetting Nell.
All four will want to play their part to make the day worthwhile
So all the folk up Brewers Lane can celebrate in style.

I volunteered to go to work, but the Gaffer turned me down,
"You can't do that because you'll be the only bus in town,"
So I shall have to stay at home and join the festive crowd.
Stand up and wave me little flag and pretend to feel quite proud.

Queen, Veronica Dore with attendants Sarah and Rebecca Caswell
Queen, Veronica Dore with attendants Sarah and Rebecca Caswell


Last year as you all know was the Silver Jubilee
A Union Jack was proudly put upon Badsey's tall fir tree
It was put there by three Badsey men on the second day of June
When the village was all quiet and still lit by the silvery moon.

They approached this great fir tall and dark in the night
To stand at the bottom is enough to give you a fright,
But with one thought in mind with flag and with stick
Into the branches sprang Loll, Clint and Mick.

They finally made it and the royal deed was done,
The flag was on high awaiting the sun
With a look on their faces of real satisfaction to reach the
Ground safely was now their main attraction.

This daring deed set the scene and the right start to the day
For the village to celebrate in its own special way.
A day of festivities enjoyed by everyone
Who came to the cricket club and joined in the games and fun.

Six o'clock in the morning three well-known local cooks,
Sam Benfield, David Caswell and the third was Geoffrey Brooks
Were busy at the Jubilee ground where a roaring fire was lit
Soon a pig was roasting as they slowly turned the spit.

Veronica Dore was Jubilee Queen and ruled throughout the day
Whilst her mother in the afternoon for the bunny girls did play,
In their little shorts and bunny ears and powder puffs of white
They played the men at football and the Ref was Ronnie Kyte.

Then the Queen with her attendants, Sarah and Becky, soon began
To tour the village on a lorry willingly lent by Frank and Stan,
They sat there bravely on the back although the wind was raw
Smiled and waved as they passed us by driven around by Dave Goldstraw.

Another competition was won at Aldington
Where a prize for the best decorated house was well and truly won
With flags and crowns and buntings it was a wondrous sight
Winners were J Anderson and Arthur Plant our compère for the night.

The pig was duly roasted and we all stood in a queue
For a little bit of crackling which is very nice to chew.
Ted Wheatley came as Godiva on a horse and borrowed wig
Everyone enjoyed it, except of course the pig!

A first-class meal was being served by the Legion at this hall
When the Queen with her attendants made a very welcome call,
To end the day a disco with flashing lights and noise
Went swinging along till ten o' clock for all the girls and boys.

I hope that these few verses have helped in some small way
To bring back all the things we did on Silver Jubilee Day
Here's health unto her Majesty over us long may she reign,
I hope you all enjoyed the show, cheerio, till we meet again.

Edith Cleaver outside 1 Chapel Street, Badsey
Edith Cleaver outside 1 Chapel Street, Badsey
Norman Cleaver 1932 - 2005
Norman Cleaver 1932 - 2005
Senior Citizens' Jubilee Meal.
Senior Citizens' Jubilee Meal
Norman and Daphne Cleavers's home - 19 Brewers Lane
Norman and Daphne Cleaver's home - 19 Brewers Lane
Bunny girls, left to right, back row, June Caswell, Sheila Taylor, front row, Ros Grinnel, Daphne Cleaver, Mary Dore, Bet Benfield.
Bunny girls, left to right, back row, June Caswell, Sheila Taylor; front row, Ros Grinnell, Daphne Cleaver, Mary Dore, Bet Benfield.
   The pig roast.