Party fit for the Queen held at Guildhall Square

PACKED Jubilee fun at the street party in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (121926-894)
PACKED Jubilee fun at the street party in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121926-894)

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JUBILEE celebrations were in full swing in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square which played host to a city centre street party for residents.

The sun shone down on more than 150 partygoers young and old from across the city who got into the spirit at the free Big Lunch event.

Tables and chairs were set up in the square, which was decorated with bunting, and visitors came equipped for a right royal celebration with hats, Union Jack flags and facepaints.

Many were dressed in patriotic colours as friends and families joined together to celebrate.

The Big Screen showed coverage of the mammoth Thames Diamond Jubilee pageant from central London where a flotilla of more than 1,000 boats marked the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.

A DJ played hits from the last 60 years for people to dance and sing along to and visitors were encouraged to take their own supplies to eat, drink and be merry.

There was a chance to create the Portsmouth Jubilee bunting, make a paper boat or a crown, and a fancy dress competition was held as well.

Anne Nottage, 67, from The Hard, Portsmouth, took her grand-daughters Stephanie, 19, and Rachel, eight, along to the event.

She said: ‘We had a wonderful day, we had such a lovely time.

‘I won first prize for the fancy dress competition.

‘I made it out of tissue paper and I got lots of pictures from my old Coronation book and some old magazines. It came out pretty well with the flowers I made.

‘I took my grandchildren also with me and everyone was really friendly.

‘Everybody took their own food and drink.

‘Lots of people came over and had a chat and the opera singer they had was really good.’

Staff at the nearby Isambard Kingdom Brunel Wetherspoons pub, led by duty manager Rob Palmer, also laid on entertainment.

Fellow manager Vicki Bailey-Green said: ‘We had a barbecue going on outside and we had lots of games. It was all set up just outside the pub.

‘It all went very well.

‘There was a really good turnout.

‘It all went swimmingly – it couldn’t have gone better if we’d wanted it to.’

The Big Screen will tonight broadcast the BBC Diamond Jubilee Concert in Guildhall Square from 7pm to 10.30pm.