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Royal Birthday Party

Cardboard Queen opens a weekend of birthday celebrations
Clayhidon farmers Richard Kallaway and Phil Blackmore apparently chatting to the Queen when she visited Clayhidon to celebrate her 90th birthday on 11 June.
Nearly 100 parishioners turned up at a parish hall festooned with union jacks for a royal tea party, and because her real majesty was busy elsewhere a life-size cardboard cut-out was recruited to welcome well-wishers.
The party at the parish hall was part of a weekend of events in Clayhidon. It was followed on Sunday by a special service in St. Andrew's Church and an exhibition of events in the parish over the past 90 years, including the recollections of local people who had met the Queen.
A lavish feast of cakes, scones and sandwiches was laid on at the hall. Led by Brenda Persey on accordion the crowd sang the national anthem and then Happy Birthday, not only to Her Majesty but to someone who was born in the same month. Margaret Blackmore, a retired head teacher who has been a stalwart of village life for most of her 90 years, was praised for her services to the community by parish council chairman Richard Kallaway. Caroline Bendle made her a special cake.
After a raffle and an auction of cakes, the cardboard Queen then suffered the indignity of being sold to the highest bidder – Lynda Higgins, of the Half Moon Inn.
The tea party, inspired by Nicola Bendle, was free, thanks to a £200 grant from the parish council. But thanks also to the generosity of the party goers and the many helpers, the parish hall committee and the Friends of St Andrew’s shared a profit of nearly £200.
Miss Blackmore was back in the spotlight on Sunday morning when she took part in the service, recalling some of the events that had happened during her lifetime and Her Majesty's.
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