After months of lockdown and restrictions, The Ripley Grove Community in Dudley came together on Saturday 27th June 2020 and celebrated Armed Forces Day in a true British way. The Grove came together at the start of lockdown and built a strong bond after months of playing “Street Bingo” on a Saturday afternoon and also celebrating VE Day back in May.
The whole day went started with a bang, with music and bingo, with all residents still adopting the social distancing rules and also was watching the weather, as it was predicted rain for the area. As the afternoon went on, they came to a break after the Bingo and out came the Pork Baps, and a BBQ chicken
During the food break, Paul ran a raffle and some of the prizes came from some of the local restaurants and shops, like Aashiq’s Indian Restaurant in Gornal Dudley, Limes Indian Restaurant in Sedgley and even vouchers from The Priory Chip Shop on the Priory Estate in Dudley.
Rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as it gave everyone a breather before the ‘Main Event’.
Everyone gathered together and as a community, a beautiful teak bench was presented to the West Midlands Ambulance Service and was received by one of the neighbours who works as a Paramedic. The inscription on the plaque read ”Thank You to the NHS Ambulance Service from The Ripley Grove Community” and this will be presented to the station and commander as soon as is safe to do so.
A hand-crafted piece of glass artwork was also presented which is a visual representation of the The Grove Celebrations. This was created and commissioned to be presented to Russells Hall Hospital again when it is safe to do so.
That was a fantastic way to end The Ripley Grove Celebrations of Armed Forces Day and most residents stayed out to have a few drinks and a good old community chit chat.