Dear All, can it be May already? But yes, it is! And, this morning, I am re-writing my article after the United Kingdom coming second to Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest after many years in the wilderness! Like many others, I stayed up to see the vote, and, whilst Ukraine was most deserving of its first place, the UK’s singer, Sam Ryder, made the UK proud with his Space Man song. I always think the Eurovision Song Contest is a great forum to learn about people, culture and traditions, and the Ukraine entry was no exception, with a blend of traditional Ukrainian folk song and modern hip hop.
So, on the subject of celebrating culture, as my original article intended, I recently attended Hampshire County Council’s Chairman’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at the Anvil in Basingstoke, where the county Youth Jazz Band, Orchestras, Choir and other ensembles treated us to a super programme of music. If you have never heard Hampshire’s young musicians play you are missing something special, so contact Hampshire Music Service to find out how to get tickets for upcoming performances. And if your youngsters are interested, get them involved in Hampshire’s music making opportunities through HMS.
I also recently visited Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley with my husband. What a lovely day we had. Visiting the Royal Victoria Chapel building which is the last remaining part of the old Memorial Hospital, founded by Queen Victoria and caring for the wounded soldiers of World Wars I and II. There are also some fabulous recreational facilities for families, including the play park areas, train rides and cafes. As summer arrives, make a plan to visit Royal Victoria or one of Hampshire’s other country parks or attractions. There are also Platinum Jubilee community events at all of Hampshire’s country parks on the Jubilee weekend.
I will put out a special call here for model steam train enthusiasts! The little steam trains that take you around Royal Victoria Country Park are run by volunteers – but they are short of drivers. If you have those skills, please contact the park to help out! They need you!
There are a whole host of other recreational and cultural Jubilee events in which you can take part around the New Forest and Hampshire at our library and museum venues. Make the most of those!
Finally, there are also exciting local village and town events happening to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. I shall be going along to as many as I can visit across my county council division area. Thank you to those residents and organisations who are organising them. Let’s make sure we all get out and support them. On the Eurovision Song Contest result, things bode very well for a terrific summer of Hampshire culture and fun!Cllr Fran Carpenter