Pensioners party in Peebles at Big Lunch Gathering

Big Lunch in Peebles
Big Lunch in Peebles

THE Big Jubilee Lunch initiative was part of the official programme of events to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee and this month saw more than 300 local senior citizens gather to mark the occasion, writes Mark Entwistle.

The aim of the Big Jubilee Lunch was to encourage neighbourhoods to come together to share lunch and a few hours of community, friendship and fun.

This year marked the fourth year of the Lottery-funded Big Lunch initiative which in 2011 saw the best part of two million people get together in their communities.

On Sunday, June 10, a small community group put together a Big Lunch Elderly Gathering for some 300 senior citizens from across the Borders, ranging from West Linton to Eyemouth. The event was held in the Peebles Hydro Hotel, followed by an afternoon of entertainment provided by the Big Al Entertainment Group.

Innerleithen Pipe Band was also on hand as the coaches arrived bringing the guests. Peebles Hydro staff then served up an excellent lunch for everyone and many people from local nursing homes enjoyed their day out, dressing up for the occasion.

It had been planned to have the famous Alexander Brothers singing duo entertain but due to illness this was cancelled at very short notice.

Event Co-ordinator Andrew Stillwell wasted no time in finding an excellent replacement in Cassidy and McFadzean, a two-piece Scottish theme act.

The audience was swept along in singing old Scottish songs to their hearts delight.

It was without doubt a huge success and provided some 300 people with an afternoon of enjoyment and fun.

Local MSP John Lamont joined the gathering for the afternoon and helped distribute the numerous raffle prizes.

Local Big Lunch representative Emily Watts said: “A record number of people in Scotland were expected to have a Big Lunch or Big Jubilee Lunch last week , which it’s hoped will lead to annual big lunches sowing seeds of friendship in our local communities for years to come.”