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  • Ed Baker
  • Ed Baker

Long to reign over us!

Long to reign over us!

One of the country’s leading suppliers of party products is preparing for a business boost in the run-up to September when the Queen will become the country’s longest-serving monarch.

Peeks, based in Christchurch, Dorset, believes there is a real appetite to celebrate the historic milestone and is already stocking its shelves.

It could mean a boost in trade for pubs and hotels as Brits raise a glass to Her Majesty.

On September 9, the Queen will pass the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

Buckingham Palace calculated that Queen Victoria, who died in 1901, reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.

This includes 63 years, 15 leap days, additional months and days and the precise timings of her accession and death.

With recent Royal events attracting huge interest across the country, Commonwealth and globally, Peeks believes there will be plenty of parties organised to mark the new record.

The firm saw massive sales for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and for William and Kate’s wedding in 2011, and it anticipates a similar outpouring of patriotism in September.

Already it is ordering extra union flag bunting and flags, plus masks, tableware and other party goods.

Managing director Nick Peek said: “We’ve supplied our party products for all Royal events since we were formed in 1946 and in recent years they have been incredibly popular.

“We’ve seen real shows of patriotism for the Jubilee, Royal wedding and the Olympic Games - there is clearly an appetite for these types of national events.

“I think the public will want to celebrate the Queen becoming our longest ever serving monarch even if the Palace itself doesn’t want to make a fuss.

“We are always well stocked with union flag products, but we’ll be getting plenty more in time for the day itself, such as Her Majesty masks, tableware, bunting and balloons.

“The day itself is a Wednesday so we expect parties to be organised on the weekends before and after.”

Her Majesty will be 89 when she reaches the landmark and a spokesman from Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen traditionally spends the month of September at Balmoral.” He said that the Queen was unlikely to do anything different this year.

  • Ed Baker
  • Ed Baker

Teddy boy’s cancer legacy

Teddy boy’s cancer legacy

A ‘win a costume’ competition held by Peeks the party people was won by a dad who is using the prize to raise money for a cancer charity he launched in memory of his son.

Owen Newton, from Blandford, set up Teddy20 following the death of his youngest son Ted, aged 10.

When he saw that Peeks’ Facebook competition was giving away a mascot costume he entered - and won a giant Teddy outfit.

He now uses it as the face of the charity that has grown quickly since 2010 and raised well over £110,000.

Peeks, based in Christchurch, asked entrants to explain how they would use a mascot costume and Owen’s story won the day.

Owen said: “We really needed a costume for the charity and when I saw that Peeks were giving one away I thought ‘blow me down’.

“I entered and won a huge teddy costume which we use when we’re out raising money.

“The kids absolutely love it and we’re so pleased because it’s a really good quality one and raises awareness of the charity.”

Nick Peek, managing director of Peeks, said: “We’re delighted that this prize is being used for such a good cause.

“Peeks has been selling products for fundraising since the 1940s and it is still an important part of the business.

“We sell collecting buckets and tins, raffle tickets, sideshow games, prizes and all manner of accessories that help people raise money for good causes.”

The Teddy20 charity was named after Ted and also because the first fundraiser was a Twenty20 cricket match at Blandford CC where dad Owen plays. It is now an annual event.

The charity also holds a Teddy Rocks music festival as well as other events throughout the year.

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