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Jubilee weekend

People across the country have been celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including students here at Durham too! In this blog, you’ll find out more about the community spirit of Durham and different things to do in the local area when students have time off to celebrate.  

Although exams are over now, so most of us do have a lot of time on our hands, the Jubilee weekend was an extra special chance to get together with friends and neighbours for some summer fun. There was a huge variety of activities going on across the whole city to get involved with, so my friends and I had some small events but also some big celebrations too.  

A very British trip to the beach

We started off the weekend with a beach trip in the sunny weather – what could be more British than sitting in shorts and fleeces pretending you’re warm? We decided to drive to Tynemouth for the beach, which is a beautiful place with long golden sands, a less than warm sea and a few cafes selling chips and street food to pick from. During the afternoon it was nice to take time off to sunbathe and have a sand sculpture competition where, obviously, my own group’s replica of the Queen won.  

My Queen sand sculpture

Bank holiday BBQ

Upon returning we invited all of our friends over to a newly mown garden for a barbeque – I did a big shop at Lidl to get lots of burgers and buns and everyone chipped in with items like tomato salads, crisps, halloumi, and the famous trifle. We set up the garden with rugs, blankets, cushions and flags for people to sit and enjoy whilst we ate and had a great time catching up with everyone post-exams.  

Street parties

On Saturday the 4th of June, there was a huge street party in the centre of one of Durham’s residential areas, Hawthorn Terrace, which saw hundreds of people turning out to celebrate the jubilee with cakes and drinks, a DJ, there was even security on the street! Walking up and down the street revealed many more friendly faces and past acquaintances from a pre-covid time, so it was brilliant to have the chance to see so many people and really felt like we had returned to normality.  

The sun was shining

In addition to the events going on, Durham had a few art installations for the Jubilee weekend: the Cathedral was lit up in the colours of red, white and blue (cover image) and a silhouette of the Queen’s portrait was cast at night onto the traditional Town Hall in the Market Place. On Sunday there was a huge picnic in the Market Place for people to enjoy. The colleges at Durham also put on individual events, from BOPs (small parties at college with live music, a silent disco and entertainment) to Pimm’s tents on the college lawn at Van Mildert, my own college. It was nice to spend an afternoon visiting my college to join in their Jubilee celebrations, sipping Pimm’s on the lawn with the lake in the background and the sun shining.  

We hope everyone else reading this had time to celebrate a lovely weekend!  

Ruby Tomlinson

Hi, my name is Ruby, a final year English student at Van Mildert College. Whilst I'm in Durham I love getting outside to see the beauty spots the city has to offer, so you'll see many of my blogs offer recommendations! I take part in lots of extra-curriculars such as ball planning, sailing, dance and charity work, so I'm looking forward to sharing my experience and I hope you find it useful. Feel free to get in touch over Unibuddy if you have any questions.  

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