Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee 1897
Celebrations in Bishop's Stortford
By James Lawson
60 years after she was crowned as Queen in 1837, Britain celebrated Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. 22 June 1897 saw a wave of parties and celebration. However unlike the Golden Jubilee, the Diamond Jubilee was not mere celebration of the anniversary of Victoria’s coronation, but also of the entire British Empire.
Although it is only small, the town of Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire certainly wanted to have a big celebration for the Diamond Jubilee to honour Queen Victoria. Patriotic banners filled the streets and very smartly dressed people lined up in rows trying to catch a glimpse of the procession that was led down the main street – not even the weather could stop the massive turnout!
Many events were held as part of the jubilee celebrations in Bishop’s Stortford, for example the main attraction where you could win a live pig by walking across a greasy pole which crossed the river.
Men, women and children alike flocked to the town centre to celebrate the occasion and show support for their queen seeing it as an occasion to appreciate British-ness.