The Royal Hospital School Festival of the Sea Celebrations

The Royal Hospital School Festival of the Sea Celebrations

The Royal Hospital School (RHS) in Holbrook, Ipswich, finished their month-long celebrations for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by hosting a weekend of nautical activities for their Festival of the Sea event.

As part of the Festival of Suffolk’s Jubilee Celebrations, The Countess of Euston, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, invited the school to host the event due to its Naval heritage and close links to the Royal Navy.

Mark Pendlington, Chairman of the Festival of Suffolk and Chair of Governors at RHS, said: “Since 1933, RHS has been at the heart of the Holbrook community in Suffolk, enjoying active links to the Royal Navy and the Royal Family, inspiring generations of young people to help shape the best possible future for our country. What better way to celebrate the spirit of the Jubilee than to have a spectacular family fun weekend at the Royal Hospital School?”

The event, which took place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June 2022 included a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy. This included the rare opportunity to witness the skills of the Royal Navy Parachute and Royal Marines display teams, a musical showcase from the Royal Marines School of Music Band and the RHS Marching Band and Corps of Drums, along with nautical stalls and activities, plus a sailing regatta between the Royal Navy and the school.

Picnics and a nautical ball were enjoyed throughout the sun-filled weekend by families from across the county and region, with some coming as far as Devon and Yorkshire to enjoy the event. The weekend closed with a Jubilee Thanksgiving Service, with music by the Royal Marines School of Music Brass Quintet, the Royal Hospital School Chapel Choir, the Holbrook Choral Society and local church choirs. VIP guests included The Countess of Euston, the High Sheriff of Suffolk, the Lord Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich and other dignitaries.

Deborah Sweeney (Sister in Charge at RHS Medical Centre) and Charlie Allison (Pupil and representative for RHS’s Charity Team) began celebrations last month by bearing the Festival of Suffolk’s Torch as it passed through Holbrook on a rickshaw, kicking off the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations across the whole of Suffolk. RHS also hosted an old school sports day and had their own ‘street party’ with afternoon tea on the school’s terrace. Pupils also enjoyed helping to create by hand a ‘Wildlife Willow Crown’ filled with wildlife-friendly flowers and plants, in recognition of Her Majesty The Queen’s 70 years of service to the nation.

Mrs Sophy Walker, Director of Marketing & Communications at RHS, comments: “What a fabulous month we have had celebrating HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with our community. Our pupils and staff have thoroughly enjoyed marking this historic occasion and, in particular, opening our doors this weekend to over 1500 members of the public to celebrate our own Festival of the Sea. What a spectacle it was on Saturday, from the Royal Marines parachuting into the grounds to our pupil field gun display, finished off by a fabulous Sunset Ceremony by our Corps of Drums followed by a Nautical Ball. Sunday’s musical Picnic in the Park was enjoyed by over 1000 people as they listened to the Royal Marines School of Music Band and the RHS School Band whilst sitting in the stunning school grounds overlooking the River Stour. The weekend was finished off by a wonderful Service of Thanksgiving in the School’s chapel, with music from combined choirs and the brass quintet of the Royal Marines School of Music Band. We are incredibly proud of our students who performed so superbly in front of a very large audience and alongside adult professionals.”

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