ISLANDERS returned to work or school yesterday following a long weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which the Bailiff said had put ‘a spring in everyone’s step’.
Businesses reported brisk trading conditions across the four days of festivities marking the 70-year reign of the Queen, with locals and visitors alike relishing the opportunity to join the party after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Bailiff Sir Timothy Le Cocq said he had attended events in six parishes and enjoyed the ‘fantastic’ atmosphere.
He said: ‘There was a spring in everyone’s step – from Liberation right through to the Jubilee people were so happy to be able to come together as a group.
‘Being able to socialise was something that had been denied to us, and these events made people realise how important it is and to really embrace the occasion.’
Sir Timothy said he felt there had been something for everyone, from more formal events such as the service of thanksgiving to large gatherings such as the lighting of Jersey’s beacon, the High Tea on the High Street in St Helier and a range of activities in every parish.
He said: ‘There were a huge number of people who worked incredibly hard to organise these events – they don’t come together quickly.
‘A lot of the work was behind the scenes to make sure events ran safely and had all the necessary measures in place, and what we could not have predicted was that the weather held up for almost every occasion.’
Using the Glacis Field at Fort Regent and Broad Street had shown the potential of these areas for hosting big events, he added.
Landlord Tomasz Tura of the Blue Note Bar in St Helier, who had criticised the government and Jersey Electricity for over-running roadworks in Broad Street during April and May, said he was pleased that the ‘high tea’ party had shown Broad Street’s suitability as an event space.
‘The events in St Helier were well organised and there was a really good atmosphere – let’s hope it’s the start of a good summer,’ he said.
Town centre manage Conor Burgher said: ‘It was fantastic to see so many people of all ages enjoying St Helier – what this has done is to help Islanders regain the confidence to come out again and enjoy themselves.’
Mr Burgher said hospitality businesses had reported brisk levels of trading across the long weekend, with retailers also benefitting as many people visited shops during the lead-up to the Jubilee too.
Plenty of visitors to the Island were among those enjoying the Jubilee events. Oliver Appleyard, group marketing manager of Seymour Hotels, said its three venues had been ‘chock-a-block’.
‘The atmosphere has been absolutely fantastic and I hope that this will continue over the next few months and that we’ve properly turned the corner [after Covid],’ he said.
Sean Murphy, landlord of the Lamplighter in St Helier, said trade had been strong. ‘It has been a very, very good weekend and everyone seemed to be happy and smiling,’ he said.
‘I sensed a real sigh of relief as it’s been long overdue for us to be able to do this.’
And Gavin Reid, managing director of Randalls, reported a good weekend’s trade across his group’s pubs, although he said the ability to trade at full capacity remained affected by challenges surrounding the recruitment of staff.