TOWNS and villages across the Forest marked the Coronation of a new King in their own ways – including Cinderford where they crowned the “Coronation Chicken”.

A lot of time and effort went into organising events to mark the historic occasion but, unfortunately, the open-air celebrations were hit by showers and overcast skies on the Coronation Day itself and on Bank Holiday Monday.

A large crowd flocked to The Triangle in Cinderford to witness the crowning of its Coronation Chicken with the egg-ceptional bird being announced by Zoe Ball on her Radio Two breakfast show on Friday, after her audience had become fascinated with the idea that had been dreamed up by Cinderford Town Council. 

Listeners to her nationwide radio programme heard Cinderford town crier Jeremy Holland reveal that Buffy would be crowned ‘Coronation Chicken’ as part of the town’s coronation celebrations.

Zoe told her listeners that people had been contact with the programme ever since the story had been highlighted the previous week.

Zoe told the town crier that he had inspired the people of the UK with the incredible competition adding that it was becoming as exciting as the Eurovision Song Contest.

The mayor of Cinderford Cllr Roger Sterry told the gathering that he had struggled to pick a winner from the 34 chickens that had applied for the role, which required them to stay calm and never get in a flap. 

Buffy, a female chicken owned by Anne Lameraft, is one of eight chickens she has in her small flock in Cinderford. Buffy is a Buff-Orpington Sussex cross with an ‘im-peck-able personality’ and is a bit of a show off and a bit of poseur, said her owner.

Buffy , who is 18 months old, was crowned Queen just as the big screen behind was showing Kings Charles III’s coronation procession leaving Westminster Abbey. 

Town crier Jeremy told the large crowd watching the coronation: “This is crazy, as soon as we have a celebrity chicken in the Triangle, we attract a crowd like this. Only in Cinderford could this happen.”

The town crier then yelled out: “Oh yea Oh yea, good people of Cinderford, and all across our great nation, we gather here today for this moment of elation.

“For as in our capital, we crown King Charles the third, right here in Cinderford, we too crown our bird.

“We thank you for your service, for you are our feathered queen, we gladly takes a curtsey, or shake you by the wing.

“You are our chosen chicken, and we all here wish you luck. Though some may say it’s daft and do not give a cluck.

“So well done brave chicken, stay calm and do not get in a flap. It’s time for three cheers, followed by a clap. God save the Chick-Queen.

“Hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray, well done Queen Buffy,” which was followed by a large cheer from the rain-drenched crowd.

In Coleford, proceedings were perhaps a little more traditional as town mayor Cllr Nick Penny unveiled a commemorative stone near the clock tower on Saturday afternoon.

After a purple drape was pulled away, the stone was blessed by Rev Sarah Bick.

The stone was crafted by masons at Ernest Heal and Son at Broadwell. 

AProms-style concert was opened by the Clover Quartet who were followed by Drybrook Male Voice Choir, Coleford Community Choir and Forest of Dean Brass.

Supporters of Great Oaks Hospice got pedalling on Saturday afternoon to complete a virtual 137-mile ride to Buckingham Palace.

Supporters took it in turns to hop aboard static bikes at Tesco in Lydney.

The Sunday sunshine brought out the crowds to Bathurst Park  in Lydney for an afternoon of music, food and family fun.

The event, which was organised by Lydney Town, included food for £1 for residents of the town.

Town Mayor Natasha Saunders said: “The point was to level the playing field for people who normally could not afford to come out and eat.

“By having  the pound scheme it meant they could come out and eat together.”

It was supported by a grant from the Lottery Community Fund which also allowed the council.

The event at Newent celebrated the diversity of the community and was organised by the Local Equality Collective in partnership with Create Gloucestershire, Newent Initiative Trust, Newent Town Council and the Forest Council.

There was music, food, the Coronation on a big screen in the town centre and children were invited to take part in a banner-making workshop with Wyldwood Arts.

On Sunday, Yorkley Community Centre, in conjunction with the Parent-Teacher Association hosted two celebration parties for children aged between four and 11.

There was also music from Forest of Dean Brass.

A busy weekend continued for Great Oaks Hospice with a charity football tournament at Broadwell Football Club on Sunday followed by a Coronation dance at Forest Hills Golf Club at Mile End on Bank Holiday Monday.

Golfers at the club also took part in a charity golf match and a cheque was presented at the end of it.

The events across the weekend raised some £2,000 for the hospice.

Monday also saw the Big Help Out which encouraged people to volunteer for community organisations.

Among the volunteers at the event at Bathurst Park in Lydney was Abbie Rudge, a Year Eight student at the Dean Academy in the town.

Abbie helps with Poppy Appeal in the town and it was this that earned her an invitation to a special service at Gloucester Cathedral to honour those who give their time to help others.

The service took place in the presence of the Princess Royal, Princess Anne.