Schubert Road Diamond Jubilee Street Party
This series of photographs portray a typical residential street joining in the community spirit engendered by the international celebration of the Queen's Diamond (60th) Jubilee, by way of a street party on Monday, 4th June 2012. This party is but one of the many festivities held in honour of the Queen. They include the Royal flotilla on the Thames, Royal Concert, Church Services, open coach parade and an appearance of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. Many hundreds of thousands of people joined in. London City was energised by the occasion. The city rocked in spite of downfalls of rain which didn't dampen the enthusiasm or determination of the people to have a good time.

This photo documentary takes in the story of Schubert Road residents decorating their homes with flags, figurines of the Queen, balloons and banners; the street being closed to traffic; pre party preparations in assembling and decorating tables; revellers arriving with their hampers of food, beverage and exquisitely prepared cake and desert; the preparation of the BBQs; the social interaction, the camaraderie, laughter, singing and dancing; the efforts people made to dress up in red, white and blue and Royal regalia; the toasting to the Queen; the continuation of the party in spite of the rain; the children playing and the cleanup.

During the party people meet up with neighbours they have been living next to for years - but have never met them or said as much as a hello. They were only vaguely known to each other by their street or flat numbers. At the party they assume names and personalities. New found street buddies were chatting, dancing and hugging as if they were life long friends. There were no barriers or inhibitions.

There was a distinct family feeling to the party. Residents have invited their mums, dads, brothers, sisters and friends. Many family groups mirror the three generations of the Royal Family. There is breast feeding and proud grandparents cuddling their grand children. Previous residents of the street return to join the party. A previously unseen bond and attraction to Schubert Road emerges.

It was thought that this was the inaugural street party for Schubert Road. However, the party was attended by an 86 year old resident who could remember attending a street party here in celebration of the Queen's Coronation in 1953. So, this was the second Royal street party for Schubert Road. (He has lived in Schubert Road ever since.)

The story concludes with the residents reluctantly clearing off the tables and readying the street to be reopened to traffic. The clean up is complete. There is many a muttering that 60 years is a long time between parties. There is a resolve that there will not be such a lag before the next one. Making it an annual event finds favour with many. Reflecting on Franz Schubert's famous "Unfinished Symphony" is very appropriate.

We all head home having made new friends, established a Neighbourhood Watch Group and had a thoroughly enjoyable day - all in tribute to the Queen.

God save the Queen.
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