Fantastic turnouts prove city's parties really are streets ahead
NEIGHBOURS toasted the diamond jubilee in style by enjoying buffet lunches and games in traffic-free roads as street party fever swept through Bristol.
As dozens of roads were shut to cars and decorated with hand-crafted bunting, hundreds of patriotic residents donned Union flag colours to celebrate the landmark royal occasion.
Despite changeable weather conditions over the bank holiday weekend, party-goers across the city tucked into homemade cakes, took part in sing-a-longs and whiled away the hours merrily chatting to their neighbours.
Residents young and old came together on Southdown Road, Westbury-on-Trym, for an afternoon of patriotic celebration.
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After a children's fancy dress parade, neighbours settled down to eat together in the street on Saturday.
There was live music, jubilee- themed games such as pin the crown on the queen, quizzes, plate decorating and a royal treasure hunt for the children to enjoy.
Organiser Jeannie Meyer, who has lived on the road since she was six years old, said: "We have a lovely mix of people in our street – from babies to people in their 90s." The 46-year-old added: "There is a great community spirit here and we do enjoy coming together on occasions like this."
Charlotte Norris was dressed head to toe in red, white and blue, with a Union flag "onesie" and a patriotic wig.
The 12-year-old St Bede's pupil said: "I was so lucky to get this outfit – the shop was about to close so I ran in and found it just in time.
"The jubilee definitely makes me proud to be British."
Patriotically-named Pauline and Tony England remember organising street fairs when their grown-up children were young.
Pauline, 61, said: "I think the Queen has done a very good job over the years. It's not easy and she's represented Great Britain very well."
Residents of Barrs Court Road, Oldland Common, had a special royal visit on Saturday.
Wearing masks of the Queen and Prince Phillip, Edna and Derek Jelf got into character to open the street party organised by their daughter Sue White and Lyn Rawlings.
Neighbours enjoyed music, crown making and knobbly knee competitions, a traditional afternoon tea, face painting, a tug of war, balloon making and a good old-fashioned sing-a-long in the evening.
Edna, 77, said: "I think 60 years on the throne is a brilliant achievement. The Queen has been so solid for all those years and she makes you proud to be British."
Derek, 78, a retired rep for frozen food giant Findus, added: "I remember the coronation and silver jubilee parties. I remember them being a lot of fun and there were hundreds of people. It's lovely to look back on occasions like that and people will look back on this one too."
More than 200 Horfield residents braved the showers to celebrate the jubilee in Downend Road on Sunday.
Children got stuck in to a treasure hunt on the road, while the adults competed in egg-and-spoon races, three-legged races and a pop quiz.
Marquees and gazebos adorned with red and blue bunting provided shelter for the party-goers, who were treated to a barbecue at lunchtime.
Isobel Holloway, who works as a secretary for Airbus, helped organise the party with a group of eight friends.
The 35-year-old said: "The party went really well despite the downpour. It was a really fantastic day.
"It brought the community together. A couple of people said they had met people living on their road they had never seen before. This was one of the reasons why I wanted it to happen.
"Because it was a great success, we are definitely thinking of holding a street party again.
"A lot of people were excited that the Queen had reached her 60th anniversary. It is remarkable. It probably won't happen again for the next two generations of the royal family.
"I just hope she makes it for the next ten years."
More than 80 residents in Dunster Road, Keynsham, came together to celebrate on Sunday.
Organiser Lisa Howlett, husband Tim, 47, daughters Abi, 17, and Courtney, 14, have lived on the street for a decade.
Lisa, 42, said: "It's been really good – there's been a real party spirit. It's a very long street, with 79 houses, so it's good to get to know the neighbours you've never met before."
Betty Jefferies looked back fondly at the historic day when the Queen came through Keynsham on her silver jubilee tour in 1977.
The 85-year-old said: "We were down by the church on the High Street. There were so many people. The Queen was waving at us and we waved back. It was a lovely day."
Revellers in Pursey Drive, Bradley Stoke, had a disco in their road.
Organiser Sue Bibby, 46, converted her garage into a DJ booth while residents and family members danced their way through the afternoon.
More than 60 people from the road and neighbouring cul-de-sacs met on the road, enjoying a variety of games and a barbecue. Sue, a civil servant, said: "The party was super duper – it was an absolutely cracking day.
"We need another royal event next year so we can have another street party – everybody loves them. We had a party here for the Royal Wedding last year.
"Nobody went in when it started to rain. It almost spurred us on.
"The children on the road were having lots of fun. There was a really good sense of community.
"Everyone was excited about the Queen's jubilee and we toasted her."
A green in Bradley Stoke was renamed in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne.
The town's Jubilee Green is now officially known as Queen Elizabeth II Field Jubilee Green.
To mark the occasion, a commemorative plaque was unveiled by town mayor Charlotte Walker during the annual Bradley Stoke Community Festival parents and toddlers Picnic in the Park on Friday.