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Athelington residents put on corgi display outside St Peter's Church to honour Queen’s Platinum Jubilee



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Villagers have broken from convention to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee after placing dozens of corgis outside a church.

Paper cutouts of Pembroke Welsh corgis – of which Queen Elizabeth has owned more than 30 – were displayed outside St Peter’s Church in Athelington on Saturday.

The dogs sported Union Jacks and other royal-themed dress, having been designed by residents in the village to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.

Residents came out in droves to witness the marvellous display at St Peter's Church in Athelington. Pictured are Henry, Sarah, Edward and Arthur Colnet. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
Residents came out in droves to witness the marvellous display at St Peter's Church in Athelington. Pictured are Henry, Sarah, Edward and Arthur Colnet. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

Nick Cook, a member of the parochial church council, who organised the event, said the idea was intended as a spin on the Royal British Legion’s ‘Unknown Tommy’ silhouette – usually sited to mark Remembrance Day.

“We are putting on a flower festival to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and we were thinking about what we could do in addition,” said Mr Cook, 56.

“We were talking about the black silhouette figure and I thought that we could try to do something similar.

Elaine Hawes and Imogen Chambers with their decorated corgi. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
Elaine Hawes and Imogen Chambers with their decorated corgi. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

“Immediately, you think scarecrows, but then I thought we could do decorated corgis instead.”

The cattle herding dog breed has long been associated with British royalty, having not just been owned by Queen Elizabeth but her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The cut-outs were sent to each household in the small Suffolk village and the surrounding area, amounting to just over 40 people.

They were asked to decorate the dogs to be in-keeping with the theme and ‘dressed for the royal occasion’.

Remarkably, every household was happy to be involved, sending back their own design to be put up in the churchyard.

“We had 100 per cent take-up, so everyone has done one,” said Mr Cook, of Horham Road.

“Most people are keen to see how other people have decorated their model.

“When I received the first one back, I was quite humbled by the effort that the families had made and that was repeated time and time again.

“What’s great is how teens and children view it very differently – they are not so formal in what they think they should wear.

Each resident was asked to name their corgi, with names including Jack, Sparkle and Messy.

Villagers flocked to the church on Saturday to see their corgis on display. Mr Cook explained how the initiative had gone a long way to engaging with the community.

“It’s been quite an honour in organising it,” he said. “It’s been a great way of having a bit of fun and allowing people’s creative juices to fly.

“Before this weekend, some people had never even been to the churchyard before.

“We are quite a remote part of Suffolk and I think a lot of households felt good to be asked to do something.

“It’s very easy in these types of communities, where people have lived for a very long time, to become a little remote and neglected, but this has really pulled our small community together.”



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