Platinum Jubilee: Gosport thrown back to yesteryear as thousands turn out for Stoke Road Community Festival street party

GOSPORT was thrown back to yesteryear as thousands turned out to pay tribute to the Queen for her Platinum Jubilee.

By Steve Deeks
Saturday, 4th June 2022, 8:42 pm

The Stoke Road Community Festival was a roaring success as people flocked to the street like days gone by.

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The historical romance was reinforced by the event marking each decade of the Queen’s reign. The White Hart pub at the top of Stoke Road returned to the 1950s with traders representing the changing decades down the street.

Janet Lightowler, 78, and Richard Gowen, 73, enjoying the 50s soundtrack from the White Hart during the Stoke Road Community Festival in Gosport. Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)

Community choirs and local musicians bellowed out songs as people stopped to watch or have a dance.

The event was organised after independent traders and Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) decided to throw a party to mark 70 years of the Queen being on the throne - and to reconnect the community.

Steve Reid, of Blitz Photography, said: The community has come out in their thousands which just shows the spirit there is here.

‘A lot of the street acts are from Gosport which people have really enjoyed.’

The staff from Ladies First Fitness show how the sixties swung. Pictured: Fran Noble, Denise Henley, 75, and Sharen White, 61 Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)

The free party was funded by a £10,000 National Lottery grant that helped pay for the entertainment.

Steve’s wife Georgina added: ‘Gosport has been on a bit of a downer before but we now hope to have other parties like this.’

Kay Hallsworth and Jacky Charman, of GVA, were excited about how successful the party had been.

‘We’ve had comments from people saying “this is like how it used to be in the ‘70s”. People who have not seen each other for ages have been brought together. It’s been very good for mental health,’ Jacky said.

Decades from the Queen's reign on display at the Stoke Road Community Festival - the 1960s by Lesley Meenaghan, 55, the 1970s by Lauren Jo, 34, and the 1950s by Caroline Dinenage MP, 50 Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)

Kay added: ‘It’s brought out the best in Gosport. All the traders came up with their own ideas of what to do in their shop windows.’

Elizabeth Humphries, of community support group The Big Match, was hoping to raise £200 to donate a defibrillator to a school through a tombola. ‘It’s gone well with lots of families out taking part,’ she said.

Mike Hogan, of Bathrooms of Pebbles, said: ‘It’s been fantastic to see so many people in the street.’

Natalie Lowndes, 39, and Brian Lloyd, 59, at the Stoke Road Community Festival in Gosport Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)

Sisters Rosalynd Anderson and Doreen Sparkes, 65 and 69 respectively, were dressed as Mario and Luigi from computer characters Super Mario Brothers. ‘It’s been brilliant fun and is beautiful to see the street like this,’ they said.

Mila Earl-Clarke, seven, gets her face painted Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)
Sisters Rosalynd Anderson and Doreen Sparkes dress as Mario and Luigi at the Stoke Road Community Festival Picture: Steve Deeks
A fleet of scooters outside The Vine providing a decorative link back to the sixties during the Stoke Road Community Festival Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)
Izzy Bews (18) and Harry Gilham (18) performing during the Stoke Road Community Festival. Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)
Jamie Gunn, 36, was representing the noughties Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)
James Ottewill, 38, takes part in the street karaoke during the Stoke Road Community Festival in Gosport Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)
A pavement performance from the Brassholes during the Stoke Road Community Festival in Gosport Picture: Mike Cooter (040622)