Town takes to the streets

Over 40 applications had been made for street parties in the city, with another 120 in the rest of Oxfordshire. Organisers of one party, which stretched between Goring in Oxfordshire and Streatley in Berkshire, purchased 4,000 red, white and blue ponchos and set up one kilometre of tables.

Richard Bradley, Oxstreets Co-ordinator, said: “From what I’ve heard, the street parties were a great success. Communities came together and we’ve proved for the future that you don’t need a Jubilee to have a street party.

“It is also an opportunity to bring students together with neighbours. Even if they’re only living there for a year, residents still want to speak to them, get to know them, and build a cohesive community.”

Heather Hull, who attended a street party on Henley Street, in East Oxford, said: “We had erected gazebos and bunting during the morning and we had a good time in spite of the rain; including some songs from the Henley Street Ukelele Band.

“The rain did have an effect, however, as some of our plans had to be abandoned, such as making hats and crowns, chalk games on the road, quoits and welly wanging. We also had to move the evening after-party indoors.”

Oxford Castle also held a Big Lunch on Sunday, with music and dance, an arts and crafts fair, a market, and a performance from the Horn of Plenty Brass Band.

Magdalen Road, in East Oxford, held a beer and cider festival along with a barbecue, street market, and drama and comedy workshops.

On Monday, the new Lord Mayor, Alan Armitage, held a 1950s-themed “Then and Now” party in Gloucester Green, attended by 1,000 people, with street performers, music groups and musicians, dance performances, food stalls, and workshop tents.

Oxford-based theatre company UnderConstruction also took part. Lizzy McBain, Artistic Director, said: “Luckily the weather was perfectly dry all day. It was very busy and we had some wonderfully participatory audiences, joining us in our schedule of silly games: Silly walks, Broom Hockey, Blindfolded Boxing dry land synchronised swimming, potato racing, four legged racing and so on… Children were particularly obliging in joining in!

We felt there was far too much seriousness around with the Jubilee and Olympics this summer, so wanted to inject some humour in to it all.”

On Monday night three of the over 4,200 Jubilee Beacons in the Commonwealth were lit in Oxford.