Huge street party in Leigh Park to celebrate 50th anniversary

IT was unveiled to the public in 1966 with much fanfare.

Monday, 16th May 2016, 6:00 am
The Greywell extension to Park Parade was opened in 1966 by comedian Sid James

Comedian Sid James, from the Carry On movies, cut the ribbon to declare the Greywell precinct officially open.

Half a century on and traders and residents in Leigh Park are planning a huge celebration to mark the 50th anniversary.

The centre has recently undergone a £1m refurbishment and things are on the up for the Greywell Centre.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The birthday bash takes place over the weekend of May 28 and 29.

The day is being supported by local emergency services, who will be parking their vehicles in Greywell and offering photo opportunities to families.

A helicopter fly-over will be one of the highlights.

In the precinct, there will be live music to entertain the crowds, fitness testing and health checks, a bouncy castle and rides, and a stall helping people with their CVs.

Empty units in the precinct will become pop-up shops, led by students from South Downs College, who will be using their creativity to come up with interesting outlets for people to browse.

Ian Payne, chairman of Leigh Park Traders’ Association, who runs Memory Lane Cafe at Greywell, has been helping to organise the weekend.

He said: ‘I am really excited about it.

‘Some of the money we make from the 50th will go towards free meals for the Queen’s 90th birthday.

‘Everything we make we put back into the community.’

The 50th anniversary party will take place between 10am and 4pm on both days.

A fortnight later, on June 11, the traders will be holding a street party for The Queen between 10am and 5pm.

The Greywell Centre was built as an extension to Park Parade, which opened in 1955.

Thousands of families were rehomed from Portsmouth, and by the start of the 1960s, the population of the estate was more than 30,000.

New amenities were desperately needed and the Greywell Centre – along with new schools and churches – was one of the developments.

The precinct has recently been refurbished, including new brighter signs.

Seating areas have been replaced by stainless steel benches to open up the main walkways.