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Jubilee celebrations well underway in Swindon
SCORES of street parties have got off to a right Royal start despite the heavy rain.
Residents around the town raised a glass to Her Majesty at the weekend as Swindon kicked off the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Nearly 20 street parties were held with sausages sizzling on the barbecues and glasses clinking as Swindonians marked the Queen’s 60th year on the throne in royal style.
In Willows Avenue in Pinehurst, Marie Eagle, 44, organised a party and decided that all proceeds raised would be donated to CALM, the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Movement, because her eight-year-old grandson Calum Kaye has cancer.
She said: “I’ve lived in the street about three years so not long, but I wanted to organise something for the children really because I don’t think they will ever see anything like this again in their lifetime and there are a lot of families in the street with young children.
“I didn’t think everybody would be up for it but I had a quick ask around and everyone said yes let’s do it, so I approached the council.
“My son Stephen is spending the day teaching some of the children dancing which they are going to perform at the end of the day, and we have got a barbecue and lots of food.”
The young and the old united together on Saturday as the residents of Belmont Crescent in Old Town threw their own street party.
A right royal knees up was had by all as residents from three care homes on the street took part in the fun, with homemade cakes filling tables adorned with union flags.
The party was organised by Celia Lee and Jenny Thompson who came up with the idea while out walking together.
Jenny said: “I said to Celia I would quite like to have a street party but I didn’t want to do it on my own, and she said she wanted to as well but she didn’t want to do it on her own, so we got together, spoke to the council and dropped letters off to people letting them know we were having a party and asking them to bring some food to share. It has been great.
“The trouble with our street is that all the houses are set quite far back off the road so people don’t get the chance to speak over the garden fence so you don’t very often see each other.”
Celia, who has lived on the street for 28 years, said: “We didn’t have a party for the Royal Wedding last year and I think we felt a bit sad about it. We don’t normally have an excuse to have a party like this so we don’t often see everyone from the street, but everyone is really friendly, there are people here we have never met before which is lovely.”
Fran Pound, from Cheriton Nursing Home which is located on the street, took a number of residents to the party. On Tuesday, the care home will have their own garden party.
She said: “I think it is lovely for our residents to be welcomed as part of the community. It is a great occassion and a lot of them remember when the Queen was crowned so it is brilliant for them to be here.”
Ron Lurcuck, 80, has been a resident at the nursing home for approximately six years.
“I remember when the Queen was crowned 60 years ago,” he said.
“I remember we had a street party then as well, that was back in London when I lived there, but it is great to have another party now.
“I really like the Queen, I think she has done very well.”
It seemed like the whole village of South Marston was out to make a toast to Her Majesty on Saturday.
A street party in Old Vicarage Lane was so popular it took on more of a village fete feel, with the Highworth Silver Band providing musical entertainment.
Cakes were flying off the table with donations to help improve the guttering in the church, while quiz sheets were handed out to residents and plants were sold.
Everybody brought their own picnics and wine glasses were kept topped up as spirits remained high throughout the day.
The event was made possible after an advert was placed in the village magazine asking for volunteers to help out.
Angela Newton was one of the volunteers.
She said: “We are very impressed with the turn out, it is absolutely wonderful, we think most of the village have come out.”
Villager Tina Hiscocks said: “We didn’t have a party for the Royal Wedding - I think most people wanted to stay inside to watch that on television whereas this year it is a bit different and we thought people would want to do something to celebrate.”
Fiona Hemmings and husband Steve, took their two children Holly, four and 15-month-old Jake along to the celebrations.
“It’s all for the kids really,” said Fiona.
“It’s a lovely party - we have only really got to know people in the village since Holly has been going to pre-school so it is nice, I think they have done a good job with the party.”
Valerie Goodheart, 69, has lived in the village for 14 years.
“I think the Jubilee is great - it shows our Britishness, I’m all for it,” she said.
“We have had a very good turn out.”
See tomorrow's Adver for pictures from all of the street parties and celebrations.