Hundreds of people dress up in period Dickens costume to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Rochester to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in a unique way.

Building on the town of Medway’s historic ties to Charles Dickens, each June and December, costumed participants take to the streets to celebrate the author.

This year’s event was timed to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee.

Led by the City of Rochester Pipe Band, the city’s mayor and a town crier, a parade of more than 200 costumed participants marched down Rochester High Street to Rochester Castle Grounds, where a funfair, food and drinks and expected Dickens-themed activities and entertainment.

Peter Sales and Jane Matthews in Dickensian period dress (Katie Boyden/PA)

The parade was the perfect way to celebrate for Peter Sales and Jane Matthews, costume enthusiasts who have used any excuse to dress up for the past three decades.

Mr Sales said: “We like to dress up; we’ve been doing this for years. We do it for fun. We love to dress up and we love Dickens too.

Ms Matthews added: ‘I also do Tudor hobbies. In a snap, we get dressed, so that was the obvious way for us to celebrate the Jubilee.

Attendance at this year’s Dickens parade was slightly hampered by high winds and a lack of sunshine – but there was still a good atmosphere, said Sue Smyth and Rebecca Chorley.

Rebecca Chorley and Sue Smyth in Dickens period dress at the Rochester Dickens Festival marking the Platinum Jubilee on June 4, 2022
Rebecca Chorley and Sue Smith (Katie Boyden/PA)

They were among a number of regular participants in Dickens’ parade who were not there specifically to celebrate the Jubilee.

Ms Smyth said: ‘Every summer and every winter we do the Dickens, and that’s how it went down, but the atmosphere is nice. Everybody is happy.

“It’s just a celebration, and because it’s the Jubilee, we had a double celebration.”

Ms Chorley added: ‘It makes it a bit bigger, but again it’s not as crowded here as usual.

“You can’t go anywhere without being stopped for a photo, but it’s nice to hear comments, especially from little ones saying you’re a princess.

“It’s a great excuse to get together after Covid.”

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