10:48am Tuesday 1st May 2012
TORRENTIAL rain and rumbling thunder heralded the launch of Wiltshire's jubilee celebrations in Salisbury this morning.
The Queen will be visiting the Cathedral Close at noon but until then more than 200 families cowering under umbrellas and plastic ponchos will be visiting tents celebrating life in Wiltshire Towns represented include Chippenham, Devizes, Royal Wootton Bassett, Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon.
Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott opened the event by telling guests: "We are here today to celebrate and to showcase Wiltshire's communities, not just to the people here but to the Queen."
The Very Reverend June Osbourne told the rain-sodden crowds outside the VIP tent: "I've no control over the weather but I'm sure it will improve."
Pupils from Longleaze School, in Royal Wootton Bassett, braved the downpour to let off red, White and blue balloons. But they weren't filled with helium so, instead of soaring above the cathedral, they drifted across the wet grass instead.
The Queen is due at noon and will be at a reception and lunch at the Wiltshire Rifles Museum before going on a walkabout of the town tents.
Organisers will be hoping the rain abates before then.
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