The 1066 Community Rail Line saw the coming together of line officer Catherine Simmons, SER station staff, a local knitting group and rail passengers this jubilee weekend with a royal tour along the line with a life sized knitted Queen.

Did you spot her out on her tour?

Created by Amanda Kerr and the Battle Yarn Bombers she was the culmination of many hours of work including a beautifully made dress, crown and orb. Alongside the knitted Corgi’s (created by CEO Fiona Morton and a local volunteer) who were already out on the line Her Majesty toured the line by rail visiting stations along the way.

We began the morning greeting Her Majesty with station staff and SER Community Rail Manager Matt Fraser at Battle Station where we had been kindly loaned a throne from local rail enthusiast and Theatre prop hire company owner Paul Goddard. We greeted passengers and gave out children’s jubilee themed activity bags which had been created by line officer Catherine Simmons for the occasion. Each contained a colour in crown, flag for lots of waving, stickers, crayons and an activity spotter sheet created by another kind volunteer Nicola Bridgman which encouraged children to spot the crowns and think about how best to travel by train.

After a turn in the ticket office with Jamie Her Majesty and her entourage moved onto to Royal Tunbridge Wells for tea and cake. Enjoying her ride on the train Her Majesty was greeted by passengers and staff at the station  who were running a cake sale and tombola. Everyone was keen to get a photo with Her Knittedness!

Next stop was Robertsbridge where we met with Ross from the ticket office and local parish councilor ad steering group member Roger Palamarczuk before moving down to the village for the Jubilee street party. It was great afternoons fun with Punch and Judy, giant tubular bells, fire engines and of course more tea and cake!

Last stop of the day was Hastings to see the A Town Explores A Book exhibition created by children from the local primary school alongside artist Susan Millar and met station staff and passengers. Although we had missed the morning cake sale and tombola raising funds for the RNLI we were pleased to find a leftover cupcake! We returned to Battle for a well earned rest to be greeted by Charlotte in the ticket office and a local resident who had been waiting to greet Her Majesty all day!

The Jubilee weekend presented a unique opportunity to bring together local volunteers, SER staff, passengers and South East Communities Rail Partnership with planning, decorations, children’s activity bags, mini knitted corgis and life sized queens, a great success- fundraising over £1300 between Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hastings Stations for Macmillan Cancer Research, the RNLI and British Red Cross Ukraine Disaster Appeal.

Watch this space for more knitted creations in the future!