Penallt, like other communities, has always celebrated royal occasions and the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 was no exception. An article in The Beacon describes the day:
'The inclement weather in no way dampened the spirits of Penallt residents when the village held its Jubilee celebrations. The children's sports were held in the Pelham Hall where, because of the foresight of the sports committee, maximum fun was obtained from their 'rainy day' party. Children competing for their prizewinners' rosettes were in great form. At 3.30 pm they went to the gaily decorated school where they did full justice to the splendid tea which awaited them. Afterwards each child was presented with a Jubilee mug by Miss N Wintour (Headmistress) assisted by Mrs D Jones. The afternoon concluded with a slow bicycle race and tug-of-war in the school playing field.
In the evening villagers gathered in the attractively decorated Pelham Hall for a buffet supper. Colonel R R Crooks proposed the Loyal Toast which was followed by the singing of 'God Save the Queen'. He also gave a vote of thanks to Mrs I Gleed (Chairman of the Jubilee Committee) and helpers for the hard work they had put into making it a most memorable day.
'Mrs Gleed hoped that everyone would continue to enjoy themselves during the social evening that followed. Mr George (Jock) Law provided the music for games and dancing as well as forming a most enjoyable impromptu children's choir. Dancing went on till late, and so ended Penallt's celebrations.'
A donation was made to the Queen's Silver Jubilee Fund and with the remaining money it was hoped to provide some amenity for the village to commemorate the Jubilee. An open meeting was held on June 28th to discuss the matter, and it was decided to place a brass commemorative plaque in Pelham Hall.
The next royal celebrations were for the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer on Wednesday 29th July 1981. Most people were glued to their television screens for the morning to watch the wedding but after lunch the village party began, as described in the Newsletter:
'Penallt spent a very good Wedding Day; the celebrations committee, helpers and generous donors surpassed themselves in the entertainment arrangements. All who took part in the races, tea, pram race, barbecue and disco also had a very satisfactory time with momento prizes and gifts. The children each received a Wedding Mug, subsidised to the extent of 60p by the Trellech Community Council, and even the seven new arrivals between the date of listing and distribution qualified!
After the races, organised by the Evill family, a lavish tea – with sausages, cakes and other goodies generously given – was enjoyed by junior and senior parishioners alike. But the real success of the day was the Pram Race, and it is with great regret that we cannot print the photograph of one 'prehistoric' eminent entrant (the Vicar and friends!) The ascent of the hot air balloon was most spectacular and to see it sailing away into the blue – well, to St Arvan's actually – was very worth while. We wonder if it has been the first occasion when 'pavement' tables and chairs have been taken outside Pelham Hall for parishioners and friends to enjoy eating their barbecue food in the very pleasant evening, and later watch the bonfire and fireworks….
The Royal wedding has been marked in a permanent way in Penallt with the landscaping and resurfacing of the immediate approach to the Old church. This work has been made possible by the generosity of Commander Collett and it will provide more space for parking and also make that area more attractive.'
Perhaps the next celebration will be the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in the year 2012 – something to plan and look forward to!
[from: Penallt - A Village Miscellany]