WE said let’s party, and you’ve done us proud, proving no one hosts a good old knees-up like the Portsmouth area.
There are now 66 street parties taking place to celebrate the occasion and the list is growing fast as Royal wedding fever grows.
Portsmouth will host 28 of the traditional outdoor events on April 29 to celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day, making it the third highest city across England and Wales.
Only Bristol’s 53 street parties and Cardiff’s 35 have beaten Portsmouth to the top spot.
Each of the 28 parties in Portsmouth will have their road closure order, traffic signs and the cost of outdoor insurance paid for them by Portsmouth City Council, which set aside £10,000 to help.
And council leader, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, has said he is so impressed with the reaction from residents that he has decided to invite the Royal couple to visit.
He said: ‘It’s not surprising that there’s lots of street parties happening here because it is a tradition in Portsmouth, but I’m really pleased that there are so many.
‘Hopefully the weather will hold out for it.
‘I’m going to visit as many as I can and really make the most of the day, and I’m going to write to Prince William and Kate Middleton and invite them to visit, since there is so much support for them here.’
There’s another 21 street parties happening in Fareham, Gosport will host eight, Havant’s having five and there’s a further four taking place in Waterlooville.
Fareham Borough Council waived its usual fees of road closures and public liability insurance for Royal wedding street parties, and both Gosport and Havant Borough Councils have waived their road closures fees.
Amongst those excitedly gearing up to host a street party, is 44-year-old Deborah Davis, from Copnor, who has organised the street party in Chesterfield Road.
Mrs Davis has planned a range of activities including a cream tea for the older generation, a children’s entertainer, a table magician, games, barbecue and a visit from an ice cream van.
She said: ‘This is a new experience for the younger generation and we really want to give them a day to remember.
‘It’s a great opportunity to bring everyone together as a community and celebrate a fantastic day.’
Neighbours are planning an old-fashioned knees-up
Neighbours in Green Farm Gardens and Mark Close, in Hilsea, are amongst those donning the party gear in Portsmouth to celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day on April 29.
They are planning a traditional street party in their cul-de-sac with home-made food, bunting, flags, lucky dips, games for the children and possibly a commemorative gift for the youngsters to remind them of the day.
One of the organisers, Sue Crockford, 69, has never been to a street party before and is eagerly awaiting the event.
The resident of Green Farm Gardens for 36 years said: ‘When we held the first meeting we didn’t know how many people were going to turn up but there was so much interest, it really was quite surprising.
‘We’ve never had a party like this before so it’s great to see that so many people want to get involved and bring their families along too.
‘Everyone is really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a great day, and I just hope we get good weather for it.’
Co-organiser Diane Brocks, 52, who has lived on the street for 27 years, says residents are buzzing with excitement already.
She said: ‘People are really looking forward to the party and they even look forward to the meetings and bring along biscuits – they just love getting together.
‘We don’t really get a chance to see our neighbours that often so this is bringing everyone closer and it’s made us realise we don’t need a reason to meet up, it’s something we should be doing anyway.
‘But the Royal wedding’s not just bringing communities closer together, it’s bringing the country into unity too.
‘Everyone’s going to be celebrating and that’s just what the country needs just now – there’s nothing more uplifting than a wedding, especially one in the Royal family.’
n Among the people planning a party in this area are residents of Cedar Close in Gosport.
Pictured on the front page today are, from left, Michelle Jarrold, Tracy Green, Lorraine Davis, Leanne Gardner, Kelli Young and Sam Ling.
· If you’re planning an event for the Royal wedding, call reporter Sheanne Mulholland at The News on (023) 9262 2170.