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Diamond Jubilee: Party-goers across UK celebrate occasion

Category: England

Published: 3rd Jun 2012 17:50:36

People from across the UK are celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with thousands of street parties and events.

Around the UK

Almost 9,500 road closure applications were submitted for England and Wales across the whole weekend, with Hertfordshire topping the street party list with 451 event licences requested.

In Scotland, Edinburgh hosted 10 street parties on Sunday, while in Northern Ireland a special tea party was held in Belfast's City Hall.

BBC teams across the UK have been speaking to people out celebrating.

The Jubilee Pageant was broadcast live on a big screen in Festival Square, Edinburgh.

The capital was understood to have had a third of all of Scotland's street party applications with ten official street parties taking place in the city.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said people up and down the country would take time over the weekend "to reflect on the contribution of their monarch to Scottish life as they enjoy the variety of events on offer".

He added: "Her Majesty has been, and continues to be, a great friend to Scotland, offering her subjects unparalleled dedication and integrity as she has carried out her duties throughout her reign."

A kilometre of tables were laid out for 4,000 people spanning the two counties, with organisers hoping to claim a world record.

Thousands of red, white and blue ponchos were shipped in to combat the wet conditions.

Organiser Ron Bridle said: "It's quite an incredible event, it's been nine months in the planning.

"It started off with a couple of people around the table and here we are nine months later with 300 people organising it.

"The parade started from one county and a piper from the other side of the river bridge joined them outside the rectory gardens to start the whole proceedings off in a Jubilee parade service."

In Halifax, Andrea Knott with her daughter Eva and her friend Kira Horsfall decided to stay at home due to the weather.

She said: "The weather has changed our plans today.

"Instead of visiting Howarth we have decided to stay in and have a Jubilee tea party and the bun making has just begun.

"The kids round here have really hyped it up, they are all in red, white and blue. They are loving the face painting."

Crowds trying to get into Battersea Park for Jubilee celebrations were delayed by more than half an hour after problems with ticket scanners.

Steven Birch, 48, from Bakewell, Derbyshire, found himself by the riverside wearing the perfect "umbrella hat" accessory for the weather conditions.

He said: "I had a pair of union jack shorts and a T-shirt but unfortunately the weather didn't hold out.

"The amount of times I've been asked where I got this hat, I could have sold it 10 times over."

Gareth and Gemma Ayre, from Durham, brought their 13-month-old daughter Sophia Florence who "screamed all the way from Canary Wharf" and then fell asleep.

The couple said they were looking forward to the Jubilee competition to build the tallest cake in Battersea Park.

Proceeds from a Jubilee street party in Cheltenham will be donated to people affected by a suspected gas explosion.

The party took place in Rosehill Street close to where a house was destroyed in the blast on 10 May.

Michelle Garland, who lived in one of the neighbouring houses that had to be demolished, said the fundraisers had been "kind and generous".

"I'm incredibly grateful. It's humbling to see people who want to come out and help and care for people in their community."

The street party had already been arranged before the explosion happened.

Organiser Ellie McGuffie said: "We want to celebrate that everybody came out of this alive so we want to all get together and have a rip roaring do."

More than £600 had been raised already.

The rain did not dampen spirits in Morecambe where a Jubilee party took place along a mile-and-a-half of the promenade.

Five hundred and fifty tables were stretched out from the Polo Tower to Morecambe Bay Lifeboat Station.

Organiser Tricia Heath said: "Fingers crossed the weather will get better but it won't stop our party."

People had een asked to book tables for £5, with the money going to Help for Heroes and St John's Hospice.

Hundreds of street parties were held across Wales with more than 300 applications for street closures - 100 more than for last year's royal wedding.

In Rhondda Cynon Taf, south Wales, communities celebrated at 58 parties, while a castle picnic and a proms in the park was staged at Powis Castle near Welshpool in mid Wales.

In Carmarthenshire, a fireworks display will be held at Prince Charles's Welsh home, Llwynywermod, near Myddfai.

And the village of Rhosneigr on Anglesey, near where Prince William is based as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, is staging a four-day Diamond Jubilee celebration, similar to one held there in 1953 to mark the Queen's Coronation.

But not everyone will be hanging out the bunting. Anti-monarchist group Republic, which wants to replace the Queen with a democratically elected head of state, is staging demonstrations over the weekend.

Crowds gathered at Newbury's Picnic in the Park event with stalls, live music and rides on canal boats.

Organiser Gabrielle McGarvey said: "It's taken a huge amount of work, we've got three days of activities and today is the central bit.

"We've got lots of stalls, food stalls, dancing and judo exhibitions so we're hoping it'll be a wonderful day."

Mayor of Newbury Arthur Johnson added: "It's an absolutely brilliant day for Newbury."

Guest of honour was later revealed to be local resident Melinda Messenger.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Liverpool for the Big Jubilee Lunch despite the wet weather.

Valerie Watson, from Toxteth, said they did not let the rain stop their plans.

"People are making the sandwiches, we are hanging out the decorations.

"We've held off putting the best tables out until the last minute but nobody lost faith."

The party in Carter Street, Toxteth, was expected to attract more than 200 people and included a barbecue, face painting and outdoor games.

Ms Watson added: "We are get-together people so we'll get out there. We won't let the weather stop us - we are still going to have a party."

The Dean of Belfast has paid tribute to the Queen during a service at St Anne's Cathedral in the city.

While Belfast's new Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson attended a number of street parties, culminating in afternoon tea at the city hall.

The guests included couples celebrating their 60th wedding anniversaries this year.

At a service of thanksgiving at the Cathedral, the Very Reverend John Mann said the Jubilee honoured the Queen's "60 years of devotion to others".

He said: "The Queen reminds us of who we are, of what our values should be, where lies the path of duty... and how she, in the hard daily grind, even in the mid-80s of life, can demonstrate so tellingly, that duty is above the seeking of personal pleasure."

The Gala in the Gardens event in Felixstowe, which was due to take place on the seafront, was moved to the relative warmth of the leisure centre.

Corrine Cappell, seafront gardens manager, said: "Sadly it's very windy and wet in the gardens, so this is a damage limitation exercise.

"I hope people come and support it, as a lot of people have put in a lot of effort."

A competition for the best Jubilee-decorated beach hut went ahead as planned.

Suffolk County Council said it had approved 80 road closure applications, with many more parties expected to take place in cul de sacs, village greens and no-through roads.

In Ipswich, a big picnic went ahead on the lawn in front of Christchurch Mansion.

See all the latest Diamond Jubilee news and features at BBC News - The Diamond Jubilee

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BBC News, 2012. Diamond Jubilee: Party-goers across UK celebrate occasion [Online] (Updated 3rd Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1433891/Diamond-Jubilee-Party-goers-across-UK-celebrate-occasion [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

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