The first days of June and a Jubilee bank holiday weekend felt like a happy early summer match. A good excuse to continue to shake off hopefully the last remnants of the pandemic and to step out in celebratory style for many in the neighbourhood.
An all day community street party was held on Friday 3 June 2022 in Carburton Street, Fitzrovia to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A large section of the street was closed to traffic for the day. Flags, bunting and balloons were festooned across railings and around trees.
Fitzrovians Brigitte and Sally organised the event with the idea of marking the historic moment and bringing local residents together. A merry band of supporters helped to prepare and set the scene for the festivities.
Many neighbours were meeting for the first time in a long time and others simply for the first time.
Tables were dotted around and laid out with homemade sandwiches, quiches and cakes alongside snacks and beverages prepared — and replenished throughout the afternoon — by many folk in a joint neighbourly effort. Everyone keen that others joining in or even passing through had a good lunch, hearty nibble or a cup to raise a toast.
A large roll of paper and felt tips provided a blank canvas for children to make colourful drawings, many choosing to create their version of The Queen, which they returned to add to in-between bouts of energetic dancing, mini football and other spontaneous street games.
Music and song played a key role in keeping the atmosphere buoyant. A bass band and guitar strumming singer among those entertaining the gathering with traditional tunes and pop favourites from across the decades. Many turning into spirited sing-a-longs led by local residents and singers Claudia and Cathy, who created a lively situation for dancing.
This community get together was a fun and fitting way to celebrate an event that is not likely to swing back round for many a moon. People sensed this and after recent darker times made the most of the party atmosphere and bank holiday weekend events. And, the sun shone! A jolly good time!.
A tribute to a Monarch whose own life has always been a part of our lives and our constantly shifting cultural backdrop. And moreover a tribute to a community spirit that reminds us that the fabric of Fitzrovia gradually, and in places sometimes abruptly, changes, but the essence of our neighbourhood remains the people, the activities that bring us together and the friendship of true neighbourliness.
All photos are copyright A. M. Hanson (2022).