THE Royal row over “unpatriotic bunting” decorating the streets of Chatteris has gone global after the story appeared in last week’s Citizen.
Some residents were unhappy with the home-made bunting with one, Mark Skerrett, even branding it as looking “like a granny’s washing line”.
But the Chatteris Festival Organising Committee hit back saying the bunting had been made free-of-charge by volunteers including members of the WI and that it was in keeping with the “make do and mend” mentality at the time of the Queen’s coronation.
Mr Skerrett felt the bunting, which is multi-coloured and made of recycled material, was not patriotic as there was no red, white and blue to be seen and said it let the town down.
But support for the festival committee and its bunting has flooded in from around the world after the story was picked up and featured on a BBC news bulletin.
Town Clerk Joanna Melton said there had been a wave of support with many people expressing their approval at using bunting made by volunteers.
“We have had emails from all over including one from New Mexico saying how much people like the fact we are recycling material and that the bunting has been made by volunteers,” said Mrs Melton.
Among the messages of support was one from Margaret Jennings of New Mexico, who wrote: “I think your jubilee bunting is imaginative, evocative, economical, green, and altogether lovely. Gaudy decor, imported from afar at great expense, is not nearly so appropriate for this jubilee as is a lovingly made reminder of Her Majesty’s selfless service in Britain’s dire and finest hours.”
Graham Bartram, a vexillologist (a person who researches the history of flags and their emblems, with the Flag Institute, wrote: “I just wanted to write and say that from what I saw of it in the article the bunting looked charming and in keeping with the setting. It also looked like it had been made by hand, probably with a lot more care and love than the mass-produced plastic bunting (made in China) that will be lining many of our streets in the coming weeks.”
And the staff of The Higgins Art Gallery and Museum, Bedford also offered their support: “Just a note to say how much we love your bunting. It looks pretty and is in keeping with your town. We also love that it has been made by local people. Everyone in our office gives it a big thumbs up.”
Mrs Melton hopes the coverage will bring extra crowds for this weekend’s Chatteris Historic Jubilee Festival which starts on Friday and runs until Monday with a host of activities and attractions at the Furrowfields Field. Free programmes are available at various shops and outlets including Chatteris library.
“It has certainly given us a great deal of publicity, which can only be a good thing. Hopefully people will come along and enjoy the things we have going on. We have added an extra day this year,” she said.