In honour of the upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations we have been delving into the Archive in search of some interesting anecdotes, stories and photographs of past Jubilee celebrations.  

Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in Totnes. 

Within the Archive we have a publication from the Totnes Community Archive called ‘High Days and Holidays’ written by Elisabeth Stanbrook. Within the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in Totnes are recounted. Here is an extract:

“The Totnes bonfire had been built in the shape of a pyramid with a central hollow chamber. It reached a height of 35 feet and its weight was estimated to be about 30 tons.

The central Committee in London had sent instructions that the bonfire was to be lit at 10pm. This honour was given to the Mayoress who, having been provided with a lighted torch, applied it to the waiting structure which ignited immediately and quickly became a blazing tower of flames. This was greeted with fervent applause and more hearty singing of the National Anthem. The glow of the enormous bonfire was reflected on the faces of the gathered crowds, revealing the many heart felt emotions that the occasions was evoking that summer’s night…” 

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