Huge street party will pay homage to Queen’s long reign

WAVING FLAGS Helen Dunning, Michael Joines and Helen Bolton from the Leigh Park Trading Association prepare for a party in Park Parade for the Diamond Jubilee.  Picture: Steve Reid (121360-742)
WAVING FLAGS Helen Dunning, Michael Joines and Helen Bolton from the Leigh Park Trading Association prepare for a party in Park Parade for the Diamond Jubilee. Picture: Steve Reid (121360-742)

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PATRIOTIC people in Leigh Park are hoping to stage the biggest Diamond Jubilee street party in the county.

A sea of red, white and blue will cover the estate’s shopping centre in Park Parade as hundreds are expected to gather for the celebration.

The Queen’s 60 years on the throne strikes a chord with people in Leigh Park.

In 1952 the estate had just been built and was still growing as scores of families moved from Portsmouth following bomb damage during the Second World War.

Park Parade emerged in the mid-50s as a shopping hub for the estate.

The event from 11am on Saturday, June 2 will feature something for everyone.

There will be exhibits depicting life during the 1950s and vintage vehicles.

For the children, there will be rides, a falconry show, face painting, magicians and a dog show.

Many local schools are getting involved and children will be doing musical performances in the street.

There will be free food throughout the day, including a barbecue.

Helen Dunning, 42, who runs Always Flowers and is chairwoman of the traders’ association, said: ‘We are working so hard at the moment for this.

‘We are working our socks off. Leigh Park and Park Parade are really on their knees at the moment and need a bit of help to make them a better place for families to come to.

‘We are pulling out all the stops to show it can be done. There’s a lot of good in Leigh Park.’

Pinafores, hair nets and studded collars will be the order of the day for a 50s fancy dress competition.

A small financial contribution has been made to the event organisers by Havant and Portsmouth councils and Hampshire County Council.

Leigh Park county councillor Ann Buckley said: ‘We are hoping to get an old 50s fire engine, an ambulance and some vintage cars.

‘We have had a huge amount of interest. It’s very much involving the three generations of families living locally.

‘There’s very strong links between that period and the building of almost a new town. We are hoping this will be the biggest street party in the county if we can get everyone involved.’

The organisers are looking for a sponsor or prizes that can be donated for a raffle. Call Helen Dunning on 07745 110119.