All posts tagged 'Jubilee'

The Queen is more than a tourism money-spinner

by The Codgers' Club Friday, June 8 2012

by David Jones

I have never been sure whether the majority of British people really are supporters of the monarchy, or whether as a nation we just enjoy any old excuse for a knees-up.

After last weekend, I am firmly convinced that the former is the case.

Jubilee fever was real enough and the symptoms were everywhere to be seen, despite the appalling weather.

I drew the line at putting on a red, white and blue hat and did not wave a flag, but it was difficult not to get caught up in the excitement of it all.

My rather more sedate contribution to the knees-up was to enjoy a spectacular firework display at which the several thousand people present appeared to be monarchists to a man – and woman – but I think the large amounts of beer and wine swilling about may have had something to do with it.

Earlier in the day, I enjoyed another spectacle – the River Pageant, not least because of the large number of Kent-based vessels taking part.

Though I am not a 100% supporter of the royal family, I have deep respect for the dedication, not to mention the stamina, of HM herself and a bit of sympathy for the often unfairly maligned Charles. As for the rest, well some of them anyway, they ought to get proper jobs and stop free-loading at our expense.

That said, it cannot be denied that, as a nation, we take great pride in the royal family, the Queen in particular, and participate with genuine enthusiasm in any event which celebrates the monarchy. The number of street parties in Medway and elsewhere, of course, provides the proof of that.

The monarchy is sometimes criticised for being a colossal waste of money. This short-sighted view overlooks the fact that the Queen, with a bit of help from William and Kate, is a tourism money-spinner, generating many millions for the economy – almost certainly far more than it costs to “run” the monarchy.

Of course, it would be absurd if the only reason for the existence of the Queen, William and Kate etc was for them to be tourist attractions on two legs, a kind of human Big Ben.

They provide the glue, as previous royals have done, which helps our nation stick together, especially in difficult times, in a way which no other country in the world can match.

Watching TV on Sunday, while pondering whether or not to put on the central heating, a German baker, who had created a monstrous royal-themed cake, popped up on the screen to be interviewed.

He said he was puzzled by Brits who questioned the purpose of the royal family when it attracted so many visitors.

“We have a new president in Germany,” said Herr Baker, “but I don’t even know his name. But everyone in Germany knows the name of your Queen.”

And that, I thought, said it all.

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Categories: Royalty | Jubilee

Soaking up the jubilee fun with great tunes

by Tuned In, with kmfm DJ Andy Walker Friday, June 1 2012

The jubilee weekend is finally here and Kent is alive with street parties and celebrations. The kmfm Street Team are out and about soaking up the atmosphere and joining in the fun, as well as other activities.

On Saturday, June 2, we will be at Dover Tattoo inside the Connaught Barracks, which is always packed with families.

You will also find us at Leeds Castle for the Open Air Cinema on Sunday, June 3. Expect plenty of Jubilee celebrations plus the classic movie Grease which will be screened in the evening.

On Sunday, June 3, kmfm we will also be at the East Malling Jubilee fair from 10am. Once you have got over the long extended holiday weekend, it will be time to think about taking part in Man on the Run. This is a 5k run for Cancer Research at Herne Bay on Sunday, June 10. This is being run by the kmfm presenters too. Want to join in and raise much needed money? Go to

Hope you are enjoying the music on kmfm. We are now playing you the new song from Rihanna called Where Have You Been. It is another upbeat anthem that has you reaching for the volume up button. It is perfect for those summer BBQs.

Cheryl Cole, sorry Cheryl, has returned to music and to the red carpets. I love her and think her next album could be her biggest yet. The new single Call My Name was written and produced by Calvin Harris. It gets released on Sunday, June 10. It is an upbeat, dance anthem. It is taken from Cheryl’s third album, A Million Lights. Will it go to No.1? I think it could. One big tune that is coming soon is Maroon 5’s Pay Phone. These guys seem to have a totally new lease of musical life.

The fact that lead singer Adam Levine is a judge on The Voice US has helped propel his band even further but also their mammoth hit Moves Like Jagger has brought them a new army of fans. Pay Phone is a catchy pop tune about a romance that is no more. One can not mistake Levine’s voice and for all of the right reasons, it sticks out.

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Coronation pomp left me turned off

by The Codgers' Club Friday, May 25 2012

by Alan Watkins

It can't be 59 years since the coronation – I remember it as though it was yesterday, for goodness’ sake.

It was a sunny day. The road was full of bunting and flags, and our council house was covered in St George’s flags. The local paper came along and took a photo of our house.

Dad had the day off and we had a new addition to the lounge – the first TV in the street. It had a 9in screen enclosed in a massive wooden cabinet, and all the furniture was re-arranged so that we sat with our backs to the window.

Well, we sat there for a short time, until the neighbours began to arrive. They all pushed their way into the house and sat on the seats until there were no spares. Then they sat on the arms of chairs, the floor, or simply stood as the TV flickered into life.

The curtains quickly had to be closed: you couldn’t see the blue and grey picture of the carriage as it made its way towards the Abbey. The sun burned the picture, which was full of snow from the poor reception from an aerial about 100 miles away in Wenvoe, near Cardiff.

The sandwiches and cakes, biscuits and drinks were soon being picked over, and just as quickly my friends and I became bored with the pretty young queen and the droning of the Archbishop, Dr Geoffrey Fisher.

Lots of shushes greeted protests about comfort (or lack of it), boredom and wasted opportunities. In fact we were turned off. We went into the back garden for a kickaround to the echoes of “Vivat! Vivat!”

It was much better to climb the wall, ride a bike, fight over the game rules, throw stones, and do what kids do when they are five and six years old.

Yet if we thought that was it, we were sadly mistaken.

Some time later – it may have been days or weeks, but it was certainly another sunny summer day – we all flocked to the city park. That was because our Queen and her handsome Duke were visiting us.

Most of my chums were in the park, but mum and dad opted to wait outside so we could see them when they arrived and left. We might have done – I don’t remember anything but flags. There were swings on the far side of the park.

I wasn’t allowed to go there, and instead was stuck in a crowd of sweaty people.

At last the coronation was over… or so I thought. Back at school in September we were suddenly ushered into the hall with our parents as guests, the curtains once more closed on a perfect Indian summer’s day, and we sat on unyielding benches to watch the coronation repeated.

It was enough to turn toddlers to republicanism! At least the film was in colour, but it went on, and on, and on.

Was it almost 60 years ago? Where have the boys in their thick woollen shorts and buttoned-up shirts gone? Those that scrapped in the sun – Ronnie and the two Peters, Alistair, Clive and the brainy brat across the road? Several are dead, the rest scattered to the winds.

I shall celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in the garden. I’ve seen too much pomp and majesty to thrill over it.

But, God Bless Her, she’s not been a bad monarch.

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Categories: Moans and groans | Royal

Gig of the year will go in a Blur...

by Tuned In, with kmfm DJ Andy Walker Friday, May 25 2012

Brit pop had a kickstart back in February when Blur were given an Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the Brits. That spurred further album sales for them and talk of them not splitting up after the Olympics concert.

Well that still has not really been answered but Blur have announced they will be performing at Margate Winter Gardens on Wednesday, August 1.

This is going to be the biggest band to perform there for some years. Expect a sweaty atmosphere and a self-made mosh pit. That is what happens at rock gigs. Totally different to pop.

Pop concerts are more about screaming, dancing, cheering and waving. Rock is about cheering, shouting and jumping! Those are your main ingredients. You can imagine the heights Blur fans will reach when the anthem Song 2 is played.

Next week on kmfm you could win afternoon tea at Chilston Park Hotel, Lenham, plus, by the end of the week, an overnight stay there.

Coming soon kmfm has your chance to win your way to Florida. We will also be at the forthcoming Dover Tattoo on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2.

The Jubilee weekend is fast approaching and the kmfm Street Team plan to be out across Kent. If you are having your own street party let me know and the team could be coming to see you. Email

As summer approaches, the tunes are all big anthems and feel-good. Coldplay have duetted with Rihanna for Princess of China. Taken from the band’s album that no one still knows how to pronounce – Mylo Xyloto. The guys have produced a mix of rock, electro-pop and R&B. Listen to kmfm to hear it.

The very talented Emeli Sande has released her next single – My Kind of Love. Sande is very soulful and this song really expresses that side of her voice. She is going to be a massive pull at Canterbury’s Lounge on the Farm this summer. Oh, and if you want to be there stay, listening to Kent’s kmfm.

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Categories: kmfm

Perfect solution for the royal boat – the Medway Queen

by The Codgers' Club Friday, January 27 2012

by Peter Cook

Personally, I don’t have a problem with buying the Queen a boat for her Jubilee. And here’s the perfect solution.

Chugging up river soon, resplendent in her new steel overcoat, paddle wheels thrashing and puffing up smoke like an ancient mariner with an ounce of Navy Shag , will be the good ol’ Medway Queen. Hooray!

What better vessel could our monarch hope for? A Queen fit for a Queen.

They have so much in common. They come from the same generation, both saw service during the war, and both have brought delight to thousands.

Of course Her Maj will have to restrict her cruising to the Thames and Medway Estuary. But you don’t want to go charging off to faraway foreign climes when you’re well into your eighties.

And what price Boris Island when the Queen of England rules the very waves on which they hope it will become established.

Given a stair-lift, the Duke of Edinburgh would be able to relive his naval days by whizzing up to the bridge now and again and taking the helm.

“Glance across to port, Sir, and you will see the four LPG gas holders of the Apocalypse, each one as big as the Albert Hall, named after your wife’s great great grandfather, I believe Sir.

“Left hand down a bit. We don’t want to hit the poor old Richard Montgomery and unleash a tsunami that will have us surfing back to London quicker than a Red Arrow pilot on a jet-ski.”

What larks, as a famous estuary character used to say. They could call in to the Old House at Home at Queenborough for a pub lunch, swan round to Margate for a go on the scenic railway – which should be restored by then – and then nip across to Southend for a pint of whelks and to catch the end of the pier show. A perfect day.

Of course, there is a Royal precedent too.

Good Queen Vic used to chug down to the Isle of Grain on the Hoo Peninsula Railway, to meet her Germanic relatives, who presumably arrived by paddle-steamer.

So, Michael Gove, there you have it. You need search no more.

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