Swindon is entering the Jubilee spirit in style with scores of street parties being held across the Borough over the bank holiday weekend.
Preparations are well underway for the record 42 street parties planned between Saturday June 2 and Tuesday June 5. Last year 22 street parties took place in celebration of the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and many residents have decided to repeat the occasion.
Mum-of-three Sarah Prevost is helping put the finishing touches to the festivities in St Margarets Road, Old Town, on Sunday. She said: “Last year was so brilliant, we wanted to do it all again. It’s a fantastic way to bring the community together and just have a great time.
“I can still remember the Silver Jubilee disco I went to as a child in 1977. These opportunities shouldn’t be missed and we’re really looking forward to it. We’ve got karaoke, traditional fete stalls, royal-themed games and fireworks so hopefully everything will go with a bang.”
Grandfather-of-seven Martyn Cook is all set for the celebrations in St Philip’s Road, Stratton, on Monday. He said: “I thought it would be a good idea and people are very keen. We’re expecting about 150 for our big tea party, which will see the street decorated with flags and bunting.
“We’re having a specially decorated cake, games like skittles and splat the rat, and there will also be a bouncy castle and face painting for children. All we need now is the weather.”
Mum-of-three Philippa Jones took the plunge to kick start the party in Goddard Avenue, Old Town on Saturday. She said: “Everything is coming together and everyone is so excited. We’re having live music throughout the day and the whole community is involved, including schools and care homes.
“There will be ice cream and a hog roast, now we’ve managed to source a roaster. People in the street have already started baking cakes for the occasion. I put the application in a bit last minute and the council has been great. I’m really glad we decided to go for it because it’s going to be a very special day to remember.”
A balloon race, tug of war, accordion player, raffle, cheerleaders and cream teas are among the highlights of the celebrations in Bishopstone on Sunday.
Sue Tremlin, who has lived in the village for 22 years and works at Bishopstone Primary School, said: “We’re expecting nearly 250 people, which is brilliant. There is lots of variety to the festivities and now we’re just hoping it won’t rain.”
Like many other councils, Swindon Borough Council waived the usual fee to apply for a street closure to encourage residents to celebrate. Cllr Russell Holland, Cabinet Member for One Swindon, Localities and Housing, said: “It’s fantastic that so many residents are celebrating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with their neighbours. The impressive number of street parties testifies to the tremendous community spirit we have here in Swindon and I wish everyone the very best with their festivities.”
The deadline for street party applications has now passed. For tips and guidance on how to have a safe and successful event, please see www.swindon.gov.uk/streetparties