It’s party time in Redbridge as weekend of Diamond Jubilee street parties begins
Thousands of people are set to step into roads across Redbridge this bank holiday weekend for some very British parties.
From egg and spoon races to fancy dress, young and old will let their hair down to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
About 60 street parties are being held across Redbridge, with many more being held inside buildings or on private land.
The fun will kick off on Saturday, with the party peak on Monday.
There are also street parties planned for Sunday and Tuesday, after Redbridge Council waived the fee for having roads closed.
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After the Royal Wedding sparked a string of street parties across the borough just a year ago, there appears to be plenty of appetite to get out the bunting and Union Flags again.
“I’m all for community and all for getting everyone together,” said Lesa Skelt, who is helping organise a party in Kensington Drive, Woodford Green on Monday, which will include an ice cream van and a free disco.
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“I’m doing it for the children. I want them to have the same memories I had.
“To this day I remember the Silver Jubilee. I want children to be able to enjoy themselves and have that childhood that they should have.”
Lesa, who has lived in Kensington Drive for nine years, added: “I want everyone to get to know each other. It helps reduce crime because you look out for each other.”
Community spirit, and getting to know your neighbour, has been a big motivation for many street party organisers.
Avenue Neighbourhood Watch member Toks Okeniyi expects hundreds of people to make Yoxley Approach, Newbury Park, their venue of choice for a Diamond Jubilee street party on Saturday.
A prize for the best dressed house and a bouncy castle for children will help the day go off with a bang.
Toks said: “The idea [of the street party] is to talk to people you’ve never spoken to before, to get people talking. We need that community spirit.
“My mantra is to forget the doom and gloom – let’s enjoy together for one day and have that good feeling of community cohesion.”
Many of this year’s street parties have been in the pipeline for months, but one has been planned for the best part of a decade.
In 2002, to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, residents in Heronway, Woodford Green held a party in their road.
As the bunting was being taken down, talk had already begun over plans to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
Now on the eve of Monday’s party, residents are gearing up to make it the best one yet.
Linda Horgan said: “It was so successful last time. Since then quite a few of us have been planning for this party and taking on different roles.”
Money is being raised for Haven House Children’s Hospice, High Road, Woodford Green, where one of Heronway’s residents works.
The day will include an egg and spoon race, red, white and blue fancy dress, a bouncy castle, traditional games and a three-legged race.
And once the tables are moved away and the Union Flags put down, planning will more than likely begin for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.