Jubilee: They partied across the city from Ashton to Shirehampton
YOUNG and old came together to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee at Ashville Road in Ashton.
Everyone was having a good time, from eight-week-old George Frost – the son of party organiser Jo Frost – right through to 72-year-old Laurence Bessell who has lived in the street all his life.
"I was born in the room I go to bed in each night," Mr Bessell said, pointing through the lines of Union flag bunting towards his home.
"So I've seen plenty of these street parties in my time – the last big one was for the silver jubilee in 1977, and to me that seems like yesterday," he said.
Replacement Combi Boiler from £1,850 with a 7 year warranty!!!View details
Thinking about upgrading your old boiler, why not take advantage of our fantastic offer High efficiency, condensing combination boilers, from the excellent Worcester Bosch range with a 7 year warrant
Contact: 0117 370 8042
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
New mum Jo, 32, and husband Simon, 38, organised the party to bring the street's residents closer.
"It's a lovely occasion," said Mrs Frost. "We've been lucky with the weather, and it's really brought people of all ages out of their homes to enjoy a bit of food and drink together, and to play a few games."
Mr Frost's father, Tony Frost. 61, said the last time he was at a street party was in 1977.
"We lived in Jubilee Crescent in Mangostfield in those days," he said. "So with a name like that, we had to have a street party. I've got pictures of Simon as a little boy eating cakes and having a good time – I never imagined that more than 30 years on, he would be organising his own street party."
For Margaret Hearsey, the diamond jubilee street party at Lux Furlong in Shirehampton, brought back many happy memories.
The 79-year-old, whose grandfather was the builder who built the houses in the 1930s, moved in to her home in the cul-de-sac in 1936, aged four.
She stayed until 2001, when she moved to a retirement home, but returned to the street she called home for most of her life on Monday.
"It's lovely to be back," she said. "So much of my life was spent here, it's really quite a nostalgiac trip for me. Especially seeing the street criss-crossed with Union flag bunting, and with all the cars moved – it feels a bit like being back in the street where I spent my childhood.
"I've experienced lots of street parties here in my time, but the one that remains most clear in my mind was actually VJ Day. That was the big one for us – even bigger than VE Day or the Coronation in 1953. For us, VJ Day truly marked the end of the war – silly things, like the street lamps coming back on, meant an awful lot."
Organiser Doreen Woodburn said: "The last time we had a street party was for the golden jubilee, but a lot of the old neighbours have moved away or passed on since then, so this was an opportunity for us to get to meet the new generation living here."
For new families in the street, like Jana Kmonickova and her husband Milo, who moved here from the Czech republic four years ago, it's a good chance to meet the neighbours.
"We love it," said Mrs Kmonickova. "Even though we don't have a royal family in the Czech republic, we can appreciate a good neighbourhood party."
There are few roads in the Bristol area quite as perfectly set to host a street party asPriory Road in Shirehampton, with its straight rows of Victorian terraced houses criss-crossed with bunting.
For organiser Rebecca Jemmett, 29, it was an opportunity to make sure children, Leah, 18 months, and Ezra, three months, can look back on the kind of celebrations people of her generation experienced.
"We organised another street party to mark the wedding of William and Kate last year," Mrs Jemmett said. "We've lived here for four years, but until last year's party there were neighbours we'd never even met. But that party brought us all much closer together, so it just made sense that we should organise a similar event this year."
Neighbour Bill Fry, 65, said it was just like last summer. "It's spooky really because even the weather is identical – so there is a real sense of deja-vu," he said.
"But we all had a great time for the royal wedding, so why not get all the trestle tables out again and have a good time to mark the diamond jubilee?"
Dennis Partridge, 63, who has lived in the street since 1983, said: "People say neighbourhoods aren't what they were, but here we are having a party in the street – just as residents would have done for the silver jubilee and even the coronation itself."