Party fever hits the streets as wedding excitement grows

CELEBRATION Ray and Audrey Gaskell who will be celebrating the royal wedding with their neighbours in Sussex Place.    Picture: Steve Reid 110468-448
CELEBRATION Ray and Audrey Gaskell who will be celebrating the royal wedding with their neighbours in Sussex Place. Picture: Steve Reid 110468-448
Picture: Pierandrea Guarnieri

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PARTY atmosphere is spreading, as another road of residents prepare to hold a street party to celebrate the Royal wedding.

Neighbours at Sussex Road and adjoining Sussex Place, in Southsea, have already held their first meeting to discuss ideas for organisation and decoration, including talk of fancy dress with a Royal theme.

Carol Clark and Lisanna Summerskill sent flyers out to all households inviting them to the meeting.

Mrs Clark said: ‘I visited a few street parties last time they were going on and they were really fun, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to do one ourself.

‘Everyone seems really interested and willing to help out, it really will be a case of everyone pulling together.

‘The kids are all really excited too and have been giving us their suggestions of what they would like to do.’

The idea is inspired by the success of their last street party in 1994 for Portsmouth 800, the celebration of the anniversary of the city’s first Royal Charter, when even the Lord Mayor at the time, Alan Burnett, attended.

Residents came in fancy dress and enjoyed dancing performances from young girls and Morris dancers, the local library visited and read stories to children, races were held down one section of the street and one man turned his garage into a bar.

Having lived on the street for 26 years, Carole Haskell, 66, remembers the day well.

She said: ‘Everyone brought out their garden furniture and there were tables full of food everywhere and we had a Portsmouth 800 cake that someone had made.

‘It will be great to do it again because most of the households have changed now so it is a good way to meet people and get everyone together.’

It’s hoped the residents will receive some of the £10,000 set aside by Portsmouth City Council for street parties throughout the area to ensure Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day is celebrated in style.

The ring-fenced cash will pay for road signs and insurance for up to 50 streets across the area, as previously reported in The News.

Audrey Gaskell, 74, said: ‘It really is a reason to celebrate. People are happy that it has happened and it is nice to see a young couple who want to get married these days because marriage is starting to go out of fashion.

‘I suggested we should go in fancy dress as prince and princesses for the kids and maybe make that the theme of decoration for the street as well.’

Ray Gaskell, 76, added: ‘It will be great to get all the kids involved with the wrinklies and have all ages doing something together.

‘I can’t wait for the party but I’m not really that bothered about the wedding to be honest.’