Lotts of fun as the rain sets in
THOUSANDS braved the miserable weather as a shopping centre car park became the venue for Bristol's concert to celebrate the diamond jubilee.
Despite heavy rain, the thrilled crowd at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, enjoyed music and comedy on Saturday. And they were still singing and bouncing along as headliner Pixie Lott finished her set with number one single All About Tonight.
The pop singer, dressed in the red, white and blue of the Union flag, opened up with her debut Mama Do and treated the audience to a mix of original tracks and well-known covers.
Throughout the night thousands of commemorative flags and a sea of hands swayed from side to side in front of the shopping centre.
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Compered by cheeky Bristolian comedian Joel Dommett, the show was opened by up-and-coming Gloucestershire rock band Young Kato. Then came X Factor finalist Micha B, belting out a mix of original and cover songs as she declared her pride at being British.
As well as celebrating the diamond jubilee, the concert raised money for the charity A Life for a Cure, Ryan Bresnahan's Meningitis Appeal.
Clifton College student Ryan Bresnahan, 16, died in 2010 just an hour after contracting meningitis B. The charity set up by his parents is helping Meningitis UK's Search 4 a Vaccine campaign, which aims to raise £7 million to fund vital research into developing a vaccine against the strain of meningitis.
Before the show the teenager's family spoke to the crowds from the stage, thanked everyone for coming and explained what the appeal was about.
His dad John said: "This is absolutely amazing and to be honest with you, this is a first for us."
Tickets to the concert were free but people were asked to make a voluntary donation by text message.
Emily Potter, 15, Gabby Resnekov, 14, and Tayler Majerski, 15, had a great time.
"It was a fantastic concert," said Emily, from Ashley Down. "I think the Queen reigning for 60 years is pretty impressive and I think she's really cool."
Gabby, from Westbury-on-Trym, added: "I really enjoyed all the acts, but especially Young Kato."
While the crowds were enjoying music at The Mall, across the city street parties were getting into full swing.
One of the busiest parties took place in Downend on Saturday, as families living on Heath Road, Oakdale Avenue and the adjoining streets came out in force to celebrate. The greens on Heath Road were filled with gazebos, tables and chairs and bubbling with excitement as more than 100 people enjoyed an afternoon full of fun.
There was a fancy dress and crown parade, best front garden competition, races for the scores of children, a tug of war and in the evening local band Freeze played a set.
One of the organisers Sue Hudson, who has lived on the street for 30 years, said: "Everyone has come together and had a lovely day. We also held a street party here for the Queen's golden jubilee. She's been a fantastic monarch and never put a foot wrong really. I hope she goes on for a long time to come."
The Coles family got into the spirit, with an early evening picnic together.
Gwenda Coles said: "I remember the Queen's coronation – it was a great occasion. I think she has been fantastic for the country and she'll be a very hard act to follow."
Like many children, Gwenda's granddaughter Grace Coles, 11, has been learning about Her Majesty's reign at Bromley Heath School.
Wearing Union flag leggings, she said: "It's been a really fun day. I'm proud to be British."
Rodway Road in Patchway was a scene of smiling faces on Saturday as scores of people enjoyed the different stalls and attractions.
From the "60th pence" stall – where everything cost 60p – to commemorative mugs and home-made cakes, a great day was had by all.
The adults were able to enjoy themselves long into the night with live music from the Riff Toads at Patchway Community Centre.
Earlier, the crowds were entertained by dance and singing performances from Stage Whisper Youth Theatre, who practice every Saturday at Patchway Labour Club. Group organiser Jess Godsell, 23, said: "This is an under-privileged area and days like today show that we can come together as a community. We want to show everyone what's on offer in Patchway."
Carole Smitham and Annette Morgan, of the Patchway Players, were selling commemorative jubilee mugs.
Praising the Queen's achievement, Carole, 70, said: "I think she's an amazing woman. It's lovely for the community to get together like this. I think we should do it more often."
Annette, who has lived in Patchway since 1972, said: "I remember the street parties for the Queen's silver jubilee. People don't communicate with each other these days, so events like this are a great way to meet your neighbours."
One of the street party organisers, mum-of-three Louisa Trueman, of Sycamore Drive, said: "It's great that the community can get together and make it a real celebration like this. It makes you feel very patriotic."
Scores of families enjoyed the jubilee at the M shed museum on the Harbourside, where a host of fun activities were held.
Children enjoyed face-painting, corgi and crown making and many showed their patriotism with red, white and blue fancy dress.
Bristol Chamber Choir, celebrating its 175th anniversary this summer, filled the air with their voices.
Getting the diamond jubilee street party celebrations under way were residents of South Dene in Stoke Bishop.
The road hosted Bristol's first official street party on Friday afternoon, with residents teaming up with people from neighbouring West Dene.
Between 30 and 40 people attended what one of the organisers, Polly Cockerham, 39, described as a "low-key" event.
The mum-of-two, said: "It's a small gathering, as a lot of people are away for the bank holiday weekend, but everyone that could make it has come along and we're enjoying ourselves.
"It's a very civilised affair – people keep disappearing into their gardens and popping out again – but the children are enjoying playing in the street."
A bucket collection was held for donations to charity Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Jenny Parsons, 66, who organised the collection, is one of the longest-standing residents of South Dene, having lived there since 1980.
She said: "We held gatherings under a marquee for the Royal weddings on Stoke Lodge fields, which are just behind the houses, but this year we decided to do something more traditional for the Jubilee.
"A lot of people don't necessarily see each other much of the time so it's nice to all be able to meet up."
Hundreds of children enjoyed sporting activities and live music when a field was renamed as part of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations.
Pupils and staff from Abbotswood and Culverhill schools were joined by youngsters from Phase Five play group for the party in Yate on Friday as a field near the schools, which had been previously been called Kelston Close playing field, was officially renamed Jubilee Field by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter in a lunchtime ceremony.
Pupils enjoyed sports activities and games, had a picnic, took part in crafts activities and enjoyed music performed by a live band.
Julie Burman, business manager at Abbotswood Primary School in Kelston Close, said about 500 people attended the event.
She said: "It was wonderful. The sun came out for a while, the children enjoyed their picnics and had a great time. Some of the children were standing up and singing along with the band."