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Bishop's Stortford is streets ahead as neighbours celebrate Queen's Platinum Jubilee



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There was royal revelry across Bishop's Stortford as neighbours celebrated the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with patriotic street parties.

Chris Wiggan, wife Clare and children Archie, 7, and Henry, 4, welcomed around 60 people to their home – the former Royal Oak pub in Apton Road.

The property has been at the heart of previous celebrations in the town and the family was determined to continue that tradition.

Residents at the old Royal Oak pub in Apton Road on the day of the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117069)
Residents at the old Royal Oak pub in Apton Road on the day of the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117069)

Chris said: "When we moved in, we were left a handful of pictures that show the pub in its former glory, some of which include pictures from what we believe to be VE Day and the Coronation, so it's only fitting that we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee too.

"This pub was owned in 1897 by William Hart and his wife, who regularly organised the annual New Town Fair, a social event that included competitions and games."

As well as family and friends, the Wiggans clan welcomed neighbours from Apton Road and Royal Oak Gardens.

Jubilee party guests at Royal Oak House in Apton Road recreate a photo at the former pub from the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117070)
Jubilee party guests at Royal Oak House in Apton Road recreate a photo at the former pub from the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117070)

They enjoyed sweet and savoury treats, with a spread of sandwiches and scones crowned by the official Platinum Jubilee pudding – a lemon Swiss roll and Amaretti trifle made by Chris.

At Regency Close, even residents' pets took part in the celebrations. Householders festooned their properties with bunting and dressed in red, white and blue.

The party provided an opportunity for new neighbours to get to know each other.

Louisa Piercy said: "We had a couple of fun quizzes with household teams – one jubilee themed and one where the answers to the questions all included a name of one of the residents of the close.

Regency Close street party
Regency Close street party

"We also had a picture quiz where we had to guess the household from the pictures of objects from the house. Each household explained the objects and their relevance to the family after the answers were revealed. It was a great way to get to know the newest arrivals to the close and for them to get to know about us."

The revellers feasted on international treats from pizza to curry, all washed down with Pimm's and Prosecco.

Louisa said: "Our celebration of the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 was such a success that we were all keen to take the opportunity to do it again for the VE Day celebrations in 2020, albeit socially distanced in lockdown. Since then we've held a party for one resident's 50th birthday – again during lockdown when normal celebrations weren't possible – an end-of-lockdown celebration and a Christmas carolling event which is bound to become an annual thing."

Party at Cranwell Gardens (57114778)
Party at Cranwell Gardens (57114778)

At Cranwell Gardens, more than 50 residents joined forces for a bring-and-share tea party on Sunday afternoon.

John Barfoot said: "There was great food, great company and lots of heart-warming chat about how well our Queen has done. It's good to have an excuse to get together."

Benhooks Avenue
Benhooks Avenue

Former town mayor Cllr Norma Symonds was one of more than 40 guests at Benhooks Avenue's bash.

Children enjoyed games of giant Jenga and dominoes before joining the adults for a barbecue, cakes and Jubilee trifle. Rachel Kemmish, who also delivered food to neighbours unable to attend the festivities, said: "We had an amazing time, it was brilliant."

In Oaklands Park, Oaklands Drive and Oaklands Close, residents gathered across two driveways and in two gardens using a marquee to shelter from the weather, but everyone still enjoyed a great afternoon of celebrations.

Residents of Oaklands Park enjoy their street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117023)
Residents of Oaklands Park enjoy their street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117023)

Lorna Moulton, who helped organise the street party, said young and old – including 95-year-old former Herts & Essex High School headteacher Joyce Hammersley – joined in the fun.

"We all had a really great time with all the food laid out and a marquee and tables around the driveways," said Lorna. "The former head judged the hand-made crown competition – in the end we gave a prize to everybody because they were all so good!"

Residents in the Avenue Road area joined in the fun with a street party from midday to 3pm on Sunday which included neighbours from Pine Grove, Crescent Road, Thorn Grove and Gilbey Avenue.

And Nicky Robson teamed up with Barbara Palmer and two other neighbours to hold a street party on Sunday for Twyford Road residents, along with those from Rushes Court, Twyford Close and Hugh Villas.

Residents of Lower Park Crescent pose for a photo with Her Majesty. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110313)
Residents of Lower Park Crescent pose for a photo with Her Majesty. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110313)

A game of 'pin the jewel on the crown' was one of the fun activities laid on for residents of Lower Park Crescent. The street partied from noon until 10pm on Friday, with everyone taking along their own food while children had the run of the street, chalk drawing on the road and having fun with water guns.

Organiser Vikki Newitt said around 100 neighbours got together, including Doris Baker, who remembered the Queen's Coronation. "Everything was perfect," said Vikki. "It turned out to be a really great day for lots of reasons and brought everybody together." A collection saw £100 donated to Bishop's Stortford Food Bank.

In Sweet Briars, Muriel and Jon Prince celebrated with their neighbours – 17 adults, three children and one baby. The throng enjoyed a barbecue and afternoon tea, and combined the celebrations with one resident's birthday.

And in spite of iffy weather forecast, 25 households from Gerard Avenue on Thorley Park came together to enjoy a bring-and-share big Jubilee lunch on Sunday.

Organiser Kate Jolley said: "The day encapsulated everything the Queen said about community, togetherness and joy. Many of us met neighbours we’d never had the opportunity to speak to before. Wonderful!"

South Mill Arts' Jubilee afternoon tea party guests. Pic: Vikki Lince (57111921)
South Mill Arts' Jubilee afternoon tea party guests. Pic: Vikki Lince (57111921)

Meanwhile, South Mill Arts hosted an afternoon tea with songs, jam and cream in its auditorium for dozens of residents who paid £5 a head and were entertained by four members of Bishop's Stortford Musical Theatre Company.

It was part of a weekend of activities at the arts centre in South Road which started with live screening of the Trooping the Colour ceremony and also included two performances of stage production The Queen's Knickers, craft sessions and tree-planting.

AVENUE ROAD (inc Pine Grove, Crescent Road, Thorn Grove and Gilbey Avenue)

Residents enjoy the jubilee celebrations at the Avenue Road street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57115930)
Residents enjoy the jubilee celebrations at the Avenue Road street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57115930)
Fun and frolics at the Avenue Road jubilee party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57116530)
Fun and frolics at the Avenue Road jubilee party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57116530)
Avenue Road residents enjoy their jubilee party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57116527)
Avenue Road residents enjoy their jubilee party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57116527)
Colin Gauld-Clark and Suzie Thorpe at the Avenue Road street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57115945)
Colin Gauld-Clark and Suzie Thorpe at the Avenue Road street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57115945)
Patsy takes the lead in the jubilee celebrations at the Avenue Road party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57115990)
Patsy takes the lead in the jubilee celebrations at the Avenue Road party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57115990)
Skylar Brady joins the royal revelry at the Avenue Road street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57115995)
Skylar Brady joins the royal revelry at the Avenue Road street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57115995)
Anne Gauld-Clark and Verity Buckeridge having fun at the Avenue Road street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57116526)
Anne Gauld-Clark and Verity Buckeridge having fun at the Avenue Road street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57116526)

BENHOOKS AVENUE

Benhooks Avenue jubilee street party
Benhooks Avenue jubilee street party
Time for giant dominoes at Benhooks Avenue
Time for giant dominoes at Benhooks Avenue
Jon Kemmish and dad Robin cooking at Benhooks Avenue
Jon Kemmish and dad Robin cooking at Benhooks Avenue
Hooper the dog at Benhooks Avenue
Hooper the dog at Benhooks Avenue
Rachel Kemmish and Norma Symonds at Benhooks Avenue
Rachel Kemmish and Norma Symonds at Benhooks Avenue
Benhooks Avenue residents Rob and Jen Clarke enjoy cake
Benhooks Avenue residents Rob and Jen Clarke enjoy cake
Benhooks Avenue party fun for Charlie, 9
Benhooks Avenue party fun for Charlie, 9
Benhooks Avenue
Benhooks Avenue
Cake at Benhooks Avenue (57114760)
Cake at Benhooks Avenue (57114760)
Trifle at Benhooks Avenue (57114758)
Trifle at Benhooks Avenue (57114758)

GERARD AVENUE

Gazebos in the road for Gerard Avenue's street party (57155656)
Gazebos in the road for Gerard Avenue's street party (57155656)
Gazebos in the road for Gerard Avenue's street party (57155666)
Gazebos in the road for Gerard Avenue's street party (57155666)
25 households in Gerard Avenue came together to enjoy a bring-and-share Big Jubilee lunch on Sunday
25 households in Gerard Avenue came together to enjoy a bring-and-share Big Jubilee lunch on Sunday

LOWER PARK CRESCENT

A banner over the street in Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince (57110320)
A banner over the street in Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince (57110320)
Residents of Lower Park Crescent pose for a photo with Her Majesty. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110313)
Residents of Lower Park Crescent pose for a photo with Her Majesty. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110313)
Lilian Copping with her handmade bunting. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110315)
Lilian Copping with her handmade bunting. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110315)
Lacie Long, 6, Michelle Hayes and Nikki Hayes. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110316)
Lacie Long, 6, Michelle Hayes and Nikki Hayes. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110316)
Revellers enjoy their Lower Park Crescent jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110321)
Revellers enjoy their Lower Park Crescent jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110321)
Vicki stirs up another batch of Pimms. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110322)
Vicki stirs up another batch of Pimms. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110322)
Mark and Alex cook up a feast on the barbecue in Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110323)
Mark and Alex cook up a feast on the barbecue in Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110323)
Alfie, 8, pins the jewel on the crown. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110324)
Alfie, 8, pins the jewel on the crown. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110324)
Vicki Newitt gets Elaine Mill ready to pin the jewel on the crown. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110325)
Vicki Newitt gets Elaine Mill ready to pin the jewel on the crown. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110325)
Charlotte, Mark and Edward Graham celebrate in Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110496)
Charlotte, Mark and Edward Graham celebrate in Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110496)
Cakes galore in Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110500)
Cakes galore in Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110500)
Doris Baker with photos and memorabilia from the Coronation at Lower Park Crescent's street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110514)
Doris Baker with photos and memorabilia from the Coronation at Lower Park Crescent's street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110514)
Sophia, 2, and Annabelle, 5, with the Queen at Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110515)
Sophia, 2, and Annabelle, 5, with the Queen at Lower Park Crescent. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110515)
One of the best dressed houses winners at Lower Park Crescent's jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110516)
One of the best dressed houses winners at Lower Park Crescent's jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince. (57110516)

NURSERY ROAD

The Nursery Road street party. Picture: Andrew Tozer (57146156)
The Nursery Road street party. Picture: Andrew Tozer (57146156)
Nursery Road's jubilee street party (57146169)
Nursery Road's jubilee street party (57146169)
Festivities in Nursery Road. Picture: Catherine Saich (57155969)
Festivities in Nursery Road. Picture: Catherine Saich (57155969)
Festivities in Nursery Road. Picture: Catherine Saich (57155971)
Festivities in Nursery Road. Picture: Catherine Saich (57155971)

OAKLANDS PARK (including Oaklands Close and Oaklands Drive)

Residents of Oaklands Park enjoy their street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117023)
Residents of Oaklands Park enjoy their street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117023)
Pat Coates with a 99 ice cream in Oaklands Park. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117032)
Pat Coates with a 99 ice cream in Oaklands Park. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117032)
The young entrants in the Oaklands Park crown-making competition show off their creations (57117821)
The young entrants in the Oaklands Park crown-making competition show off their creations (57117821)
Basil and Monty get dressed up for the Oaklands Park jubilee party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117017)
Basil and Monty get dressed up for the Oaklands Park jubilee party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117017)
Ice creams are the crowning glory for Oaklands Park youngsters Lucy and Cassie. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117018)
Ice creams are the crowning glory for Oaklands Park youngsters Lucy and Cassie. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117018)
Oaklands Park jubilee party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117066)
Oaklands Park jubilee party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117066)

REGENCY CLOSE

Regency Close street party
Regency Close street party
Dylan, Louisa and Simon Piercy, Anne and Jolanta celebrate in Regency Close
Dylan, Louisa and Simon Piercy, Anne and Jolanta celebrate in Regency Close
Queen makes an appearance at Regency Close
Queen makes an appearance at Regency Close

ROYAL OAK HOUSE, APTON ROAD

Jubilee party guests at Royal Oak House in Apton Road recreate a photo at the former pub from the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117071)
Jubilee party guests at Royal Oak House in Apton Road recreate a photo at the former pub from the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117071)
Chris Wiggan's Platinum Jubilee pudding (57114765)
Chris Wiggan's Platinum Jubilee pudding (57114765)
Residents at the old Royal Oak pub in Apton Road on the day of the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117069)
Residents at the old Royal Oak pub in Apton Road on the day of the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117069)
Jubilee party guests at Royal Oak House in Apton Road recreate a photo at the former pub from the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117070)
Jubilee party guests at Royal Oak House in Apton Road recreate a photo at the former pub from the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117070)

SWEET BRIARS

Celebrations at Sweet Briar (57134470)
Celebrations at Sweet Briar (57134470)
Celebrations at Sweet Briar (57134466)
Celebrations at Sweet Briar (57134466)
Celebrations at Sweet Briar (57134468)
Celebrations at Sweet Briar (57134468)
Celebrations at Sweet Briar (57134473)
Celebrations at Sweet Briar (57134473)

THE MEADOWS

Street party in The Meadows (57146144)
Street party in The Meadows (57146144)
The street party in The Meadows was organised by Diana and Anthony Parsons
The street party in The Meadows was organised by Diana and Anthony Parsons

TWYFORD ROAD (inc Rushes Court, Twyford Close and Hugh Villas)

Twyford Road jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117076)
Twyford Road jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117076)
Twyford Road jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117083)
Twyford Road jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117083)
Ottilai, 9, watched by Annie, 7, and Dougie, 5, as she pins the diamond on the Queen. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117072)
Ottilai, 9, watched by Annie, 7, and Dougie, 5, as she pins the diamond on the Queen. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117072)
Twyford Road jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117370)
Twyford Road jubilee street party. Pic: Vikki Lince (57117370)

SOUTH MILL ARTS

South Mill Arts' Jubilee afternoon tea party guests. Pic: Vikki Lince (57111921)
South Mill Arts' Jubilee afternoon tea party guests. Pic: Vikki Lince (57111921)
BSMTC members, from left, Cat Quigley, Liz Ellams, Ali Akhurst and Cath Dickerson ready to entertain. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112191)
BSMTC members, from left, Cat Quigley, Liz Ellams, Ali Akhurst and Cath Dickerson ready to entertain. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112191)
Sarah Monk of South Mill Arts pours tea for afternoon tea party guests. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112193)
Sarah Monk of South Mill Arts pours tea for afternoon tea party guests. Pic: Vikki Lince (57112193)


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