THE rain held off as streets across our area threw parties to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Neighbours gathered in more than 100 roads in Portsmouth and south Hampshire to celebrate over the weekend.
Streets were cleared of cars and replaced with tables, chairs and bunting as young and old got dressed in red, white and blue to play party games and tuck into food fit for royalty.
One of the biggest street parties was held in Trevis Road, Milton, Portsmouth, pictured on the front page, where more than 100 people turned out.
Lynn Timms, 52, who helped organise the event, said: ‘It’s been fabulous. We’ve been so lucky with the weather. We’ve had some great games and all the kids and adults enjoyed it.
‘We’ve had lots to eat and lots to drink – it’s been really good.’
Neighbour Anita Henry, 50, said: ‘It’s been really busy all day. There were people sitting the whole way down the street – it’s a great excuse for a party. It’s a really good time where everyone is prepared to get together and enjoy themselves.’
Many feared the weekend could be a washout with forecasters predicting rain for Sunday – the busiest time for street parties over the four day bank holiday.
But thankfully the rain clouds never came.
In Lynton Grove, Buckland, entertainment included a disco, children’s games, bouncy castle, face painting and bucking bronco.
Residents took part in a raffle, guess the weight of the cake and guess the name of the cuddly toy competitions to help raise money to fund the party, and some took part in a best dressed house competition.
Organiser Joan Harmer, 73, said: ‘It’s just lovely to get all of the families together.
‘We try to make it so every member of the family can join in. It’s a really good atmosphere.
‘We raise money during the year and any we have left over will go to charity. It’s about community.’
Val Bell, 49, helped organise the street party in Carnarvon Road, Buckland, which had live performances.
She said: ‘I’ve never organised a street party before – I’ve never even been to a street party before. It went really well.’
In Shearer Road, Buckland, there was a disco and entertainment including a tug-of-war.
Sing-a-longs, dancing and bingo was the order of the day at the John Pounds Community Centre in Portsea.
Alan Bayliss, 81, of Duckworth House, who attended the event, said: ‘I remember the coronation in 1937 and the parties that followed. The celebrations now have that real Dunkirk spirit.’
Laura Poustie, of Coleridge Drive in Whiteley, organised a street party for residents. But marking the Queen’s jubilee wasn’t just on the agenda for the mum-of-two, the event was organised to raise awareness of leukaemia in infants and raise money for Clic Sargent.
Joseph Bowen, 18 months, the son of friends Celine and Steven Bowen, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a rare form of cancer, in April 2011.
Laura said: ‘We asked people for a minimum donation of £10 to attend the party. The weather was kind to us and everyone enjoyed themselves.’
Chris Pratt, 56, organised the party in Hanoverian Way, Whiteley.
Even the Queen made a special appearance – in the form of a cardboard cut out.
He said: ‘There’s not a lot of good news out there but parties like this make people feel better about life.’
Some even got their family pets into the spirit, dressing them up in patriotic colours – among them being British bulldogs Stamford at a street party in Carnarvon Road, Buckland and Hugo at a street party in Binsteed Road, Buckland.
Races and games were played at a party on Beresford Road, North End. Residents also enjoyed live drumming performances and a visit from a fire engine and police car.
Heidi Weston, seven, went to the event with her aunt Jackie Budd, 49, who lives on the road.
The youngster, who had her face painted in a Union Jack flag, said: ‘It was really fun. I played football, hula-hoop and on a spacehoper.’