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Queen’s Golden Jubilee CD-ROM

A Memento for Her Majesty

The Queen’s CD-ROM was conceived as a memento of the celebrations that took place in Stratford-upon-Avon during the Golden Jubilee in 2002, for presentation to the Queen.

It featured the Golden Jubilee Flower Festival, which had been held in the town’s Guild Chapel by the Avon Evening Flower Club, and provided a photographic tour of the floral displays that commemorated events in the Queen’s reign. This was introduced with Stratford-upon-Avon’s own memories of Her Majesty’s three visits to the town and included additional images, music, commentary and quotations from Shakespeare to convey the setting for this tribute to her reign.

The CD could be run in both interactive and self-running modes. In the interactive version the user could create their own tour of the Festival displays, access the history of the Guild Chapel, or find out about the Avon Evening Flower Club and the Stratford-upon-Avon Society. The self-running mode provided an overview and allowed the CD to be viewed as a “film”.

The CD, in its hand-crafted case, was accepted on the Queen’s behalf by the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire at a special event held by the Stratford-upon-Avon Society on the 26 th June, 2003. A replica CD and case, together with the Queen’s letter of thanks to the Society, may be seen on display in the Town Hall.

Subsequently, the British Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico, requested a copy of the CD for showing at the ‘EMT 2003’ tourism exhibition in Mexico City and it was used to promote Stratford-upon-Avon at this major international tourism Expo . The British Consul representative, Alejandra Rodriguez, confirmed that it had been run throughout the four days of the Show, and that it had attracted a great deal of interest .

The CD-ROM was also entered after encouragement from BAFTA in the “Offline Factual” and “Design” categories in their annual Interactive Entertainment Awards that year.

Copies of the CD remain available for sale at £11.00. It will run smoothly on a PC or laptop with the resources of a Pentium 4 processor, or equivalent, and a sound system.


The project had been the brainchild of then Society Chairman, Professor Ian Heggie. Having been inspired by the Golden Jubilee Flower Festival, he had asked the Society’s photographic group to record the event. He felt that it was worthy of presentation to the Queen as an outstanding example of the Town’s celebrations, and he sought the agreement of both the Avon Evening Flower Club and the Friends of the Guild Chapel to do so. However, the question of the form the presentation should take to be worthy of such a prestigious plan remained unanswered.

The idea of a CD-ROM came after doubts were raised over the merits of a conventional photographic album, and it was agreed that the combination of a shiny, high tech CD in a case evoking the heritage of the town, would add greater value and interest. It would be modern Stratford celebrating an historic past, and offer the advantage of being interactive and the possibility of setting the Flower Festival in the context of Stratford’s own associations with the Queen.

The basis was a draft printed volume produced by Society member Leon Tanner, which was intended to be available alongside the CD-ROM. Leon electronically enhanced the original photographs, added his own, and designed the layout with an initial text.

Tenders were invited from three local companies and Design Direction International, lead by Alan Hawkins, was commissioned to produce it in association with Midlands-based specialists Toad Interactive. Alan also designed the presentation case and had it made in Nuneaton. He took as his inspiration the south door of the Guild Chapel – see photograph.

Comprehensive research was undertaken, and it became a community project. Contributions came from a wide range of local individuals and organisations, many of whom had witnessed or taken part in the royal scenes depicted. Some of the music that had been performed for the Queen by local people during her visits to Stratford was recorded for the CD by the very same musicians. All gave their services without financial reward. Contributors also included local and national newspapers, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and the Avon Evening Flower Club. A full list of those who took part is shown below.

The project was supported by the generosity of Stratford-upon-Avon Town Trust, George Pragnell Ltd. and individual members of the Stratford Society.

Both the CD-ROM and the Printed Volume were previewed in Stratford Town Hall on Tuesday 3 June, 2003, marking the 50 th anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation.


The project was the brainchild of then Stratford Society Chairman, Professor Ian Heggie.

Design Direction International’s Mark Hobin came up with the idea of a CD-ROM as the answer to Ian’s quest for something better than a photograph album and DDI won the commission to produce it.

A printed volume produced by Stratford Society member Leon Tanner formed the starting point. Leon electronically enhanced the original photographs, added his own and designed the layout with an initial text.

DDI researched additional photographic material, music, and historical references, undertook script development, and directed the visual style of the project, from initial storyboard treatment to completion. It also established and co-ordinated contributions from a range of individuals and organisations, and managed the production of the CD print run.

The detailed design and electronic production was carried out in association with Toad Interactive, based in Stafford.

The CD label was designed by calligrapher, David Greenwood.

DDI’s Alan Hawkins designed the case which was produced by John F. White Ltd. in Nuneaton.

The Stratford Society wished to thank the following for their assistance with the production:


Stratford-upon-Avon Town Trust Roger Pringle
Avon Evening Flower Club Tim Raistrick
Friends of the Guild Chapel Robin Smart
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office Dudley Simpson
Ian & Jennifer Heggie Peter Summers
Elena Durán Leon Tanner

Photographs reproduced courtesy of:

Stratford Society Members:

Other contributors:
Jack Crimp Michael Crutchley
Willoughby Gullachsen Shakespeare Birthplace
Philip Morris Trust Records Office
Helmut Schulenburg Associated Newspapers
Leon Tanner Coventry Evening Telegraph
Alan Hawkins Stratford-upon-Avon Herald

Verse spoken by: David Biddle

Narration spoken by: Roger Gowland


Slow movement from Concerto No.5 in G minor (Opus 7) by G.F. Handel played on the organ

of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon by Peter Summers.

Nostalgia - Nostalgia by José Sabre Marroquín performed by Elena Durán - flute - and Józef Olechowski – piano.

Justorum Animae by Charles Standford performed by Stratford-upon-Avon Chamber Choir directed by Stephen Dodsworth.