Orpingtonians brave the Great British spring time to mark the coronation of King Charles III together
On Saturday 6 May, residents of Orpington gathered in a rather damp Market Square to celebrate a momentous occasion in British history.
Organised by the town centre business community - Orpington 1st BID - and supported by Perrys Chartered Accountants, Chantler Kent Investments, and McDonald's Orpington, Orpington’s Coronation Celebration saw proceedings from Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace streamed on the big screen, amidst a sea of brollies.
Complementary entertainment included a juggler, stilt walker, and acrobats, whilst the craft stall hosted the making of hundreds of crowns, and face painters created decorative designs for children and adults alike.
Six-piece brass outfit 'The London Street Band' took to the stage and the high street playing popular tunes New Orleans style, with a surprise visit to some local restaurants, too.
Following the Coronation service at Westminster Abbey, the town’s elected representatives gathered on stage for a prayer and blessing led by Reverend George Rogers, and a toast to His Majesty conducted by local businessman, Orpington 1st BID director, and toastmaster, Gary Valentine-Fuller.
(L-R) Gary Valentine-Fuller, Cllr. Kim Botting, Deputy Lieutenant Geoffrey Thompson, Reverend George Rogers, Gareth Bacon MP, Cllr Pauline Tunnicliffe, Deputy Mayor of Bromley Cllr. Christine Harris
Gary commented: “it’s a privilege to lead our own ceremonial moment here in Market Square, alongside Reverend Rogers, as we mark this historic occasion.
“I’d like to thank our MP Gareth Bacon, and ward councillors Kim Botting and Pauline Tunnicliffe for joining us. And a special thank you to the Mayor of Bromley Cllr Hannah Gray, Deputy Mayor of Bromley Cllr. Christine Harris, and the King’s representative Deputy Lieutenant Geoffrey Thompson.”
A specially created short film “Britain Through The Small Screen” was shown, celebrating moments in British popular culture through the lifetime of the king so far, and a spectacular Coronation Cake was cut by Deputy Mayor of Bromley Cllr. Christine Harris, with slices gratefully received by a long queue of attendees.
As the event drew to a close, and the rain continued to fall, live band “Duality” brought sunny smiles to faces and the crowd to their feet with exuberant renditions of hit songs through the decades, even inspiring a conga.
Orpington 1st Executive Director, Chris Travers, said: “We’re really proud to bring the town together for moments like this, so it’s great to see so many here enjoying themselves, despite the rotten weather. Big thanks to all those who made Orpington’s Coronation Celebration such a spirited occasion."
Mayor of Bromley Cllr. Hannah Gray with a VVIP
A big thank you to event sponsors Perry's Chartered Accountants, Chantler Kent, and McDonald's Orpington.