Diamond Jubilee Youth Enclosure

>>  Saturday, June 09, 2012

I wanted to share with you the 'sheer luxury' of the Youth Enclosure we were in on the Mall for the Diamond Jubilee Procession.

We had to be there before 9am which meant a very early train, tube and walk but we made it.  Although we seemed to be one of the last groups in, there was still plenty of space for us to stand.  I did speak to a Guider from another group and appealed to her 'Guiding Spirit'  to allow our Brownies to stand in front of her and her other leaders, not her Brownies, they had room a plenty.   The guilt trip seemed to work just fine and our girls had a great view with the taller adults stood behind.  I felt it a shame that I needed to ask, and a Guider I was speaking to from Lincoln came and repeated a similar story to me later  (sort yourselves out Guiders - the girls come first).

The land sloped slightly and I was happy leaning up against a tree to rest my back a bit and watched it all happen from a little further back.

The area we were in was completely enclosed and ringed by Police the whole time. Proof of identity was required to get in.  We had our own loos, that were clean, with paper and hand wash and stayed that way the whole day.  We rarely queued for the loo and when we did, the police sent us a little further into an area the public were not allowed into to use their loos.  The Rainbows were making the most of the privilege with what seemed like as many toilet trips as they could possibly get away with!

We cheered the Queen on her way to the service.
And then sat and had a picnic whilst we listened to the service over the tannoy.  It was so good to have space to spread out into, to leave our places at the barrier and know that later we could just stroll back to it.  In contrast HWMBO was jammed in crowds at St Pauls unable to see or move whilst our girls sat and made crowns and did some colouring in.  The Beavers played football and the Scouts were climbing the trees!

Lots of bands marched past us, so many that we started to wonder if they were going round in circles and changing their hats around the corner.

To the side of us was Horse Guards Road and ceremonial soldiers were riding through there too, I think this was part of the Changing of the Guard.  The kids ran back and forth between the front and back of the enclosure with things happening on both sides.

We had a view of Horse Guards parade as the 60 gun salute happened, they had previously pulled the guns up the Mall.
And yet whilst all this was happening, some children just chose to play football!  If you look through this picture you will see the crowds further down the Mall stood forty deep.  Whereas we just left our bags piled up knowing they were relatively safe and stood around chatting, cheering and generally enjoying the moment.

We had a fantastic view of everything and even whilst we were waiting for the 'best bits' there was always something happening be it soldiers marching, police moving about, horses, bands, guns, yet more toilet trips (!)  The police cadets were used to look after us. Great training for them and I think the police knew they could trust us to behave.

 I think it is absolutely fantastic that someone decided the Youth Groups deserve this space.  Taking children in large groups to see the procession would have been an impossible mission for us without this and 1600 (ish) children and leaders got the experience of a lifetime.

I know I keep saying it, but sometimes I just can't believe our luck.


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