Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Cardiff

June 3, 2012 No Comments »

Cardiff celebrated on the second day of the Diamond Jubilee weekend today, with hundreds gathering in the city centre for the St Mary Street Big Lunch and street parties across the city.

The damp weather failed to put off people who came into the city centre carrying picnic lunches for the official Jubilee event on St Mary Street.

People arrived decked out in Union Jack flags, hats, T-shirts and face paints, while the street itself was adorned with strings of bunting displaying both the Union Jack and Welsh flags.

The street party, which was the biggest Big Lunch event in the country, offered seven hours of entertainment, including live bands, street performers, and a large screen showing the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant as it progressed down the Thames.

Families and friends shared picnics with strangers on tables decorated in the obligatory red, white and blue.

Not far away in Bute Park’s Pettigrew Tea Rooms, around 50 people attended another Big Lunch organised by online group Cardiff Blogs, with partygoers bringing home-made cakes, Jubilee jellies and more.

Liz Rawlins, who helped organise the Cardiff Blogs event, said: “The Big Lunch is a community thing and because we’re an online community, it’s a good chance for people to get together and meet each other off line. Not everybody wants to celebrate the Jubilee, but everyone’s brought something and it’s been a really good way to get people together.”

There were 15 official road closures for street parties in Cardiff today, with neighbours coming together in Grangetown, Pontprennau, St Mellons, Penylan, Cyncoed, Morganstown, Roath, Radyr and Ely.

In Grangetown, the residents of Grange Place continued a long history of Royal street parties with their Diamond Jubilee event.

The road held street parties for the Silver Jubilee in 1977, the Golden Jubilee in 2002, and the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in April last year.

Michelle Graham was just three years old when she dressed up as the Queen for Grange Place’s Silver Jubilee party.

Now 38 and living back on the street with husband Rick and four-year-old son William, she helped to organise today’s event.

Around 70 residents joined in the day of food and drink, street games, and fancy dress.

She said: “We’ve got quite a history in the street of events like this. More people know their neighbours than you would think, and it’s just a great way of coming together.”

On Werfa Street in Roath, residents came out for their second street party in just over a year following the success of their Royal Wedding party in 2011, while in Ely 200 people attended a street party in Ronald Place.

Organiser Valerie Allen said families had paid £10 each to put on a day including food, a DJ, face painting and a bouncy castle.

She said: “They’ve not had a party here for years. Everyone helped to prepare it this morning, and all different ages have come together.”

Ward councillor for Ely Sue Goddard, who was also at the party, said: “I just love to see the community getting together and having fun. All the generations are mixing together – it’s just wonderful.”

The residents of Llyswen Road and Bettws-y-Coed Road in Cyncoed also had their street party today, with marquees, bunting and a 1950s theme brightening up Llyswen Road for the afternoon despite the rain.

Children were kept busy with a Royal Jubilee card competition, a magician, and ration books which were stamped following face painting or the distribution of ice cream and sweets.

There was a Royal quiz for the adults, a fancy dress competition and 1950s music, with the afternoon rounded off by a Royal Parade featuring Llyswen Road’s own Queen and Prince Philip.

A spokeswoman for the Llyswen Road committee said: “There’s been a tremendous effort put in. It centres on the Royal family, but it’s also the opportunity for neighbours to get together and enjoy each others’ company. That’s been really appreciated.”

Eleri Williams, 22, grew up in the street, and was home visiting for the street party and her own birthday celebrations tomorrow.

She said: “It’s been great – so nice to see everyone and have some cake and champagne. I grew up on this street, but it’s still nice to meet new people and get to know them. Even the rain couldn’t stop people coming together.”

The slideshow above shows pictures of Cardiff’s street parties right across the Jubilee weekend. Many thanks to all those who sent their photos in to yourCardiff.


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