How to celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding - Follow our guide
EAST Enders know how to throw a street party and the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29 will be a perfect opportunity to celebrate with the neighbours.
There are a few hurdles to consider before the big day, such as making arrangements if you want to close your street to traffic.
But Tower Hamlets council is considering shortening the time needed to process street party applications from 28 days to 21 days for royal wedding parties.
Chris Gittins, who set up the Streets Alive charity ten years ago to promote such events, believes that is a good idea.
He said: “People might think about it at the last-minute.
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“Hopefully the same would apply into the summer because we think a lot of people will want to hold their royal party then. The council needs to think about this creatively.
“Tower Hamlets council can sometimes make things complicated, but compared to many London councils, they’re very good.”
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Once you’ve made an application to the council’s Arts and Events team, you’ll need to think about tailoring the event to your neighbours’ tastes, particularly when it comes to picking your music.
A council Environmental Health team will consider noise levels, but that’s only likely to be an issue if you’re planning live music or a late night party.
Remember as well to let nearby businesses and all the residents on your street know - try to get as many people involved as possible.
To make sure older vulnerable people don’t feel isolated, knock on their doors to assure them the event is for all ages, and not just for kids – as street parties used to be.
“You will probably not be able to suit everyone, but as long as you invite everyone, respect differences and don’t seriously inconvenience anyone, it should all be fine,” said Mr Gittins.
On the big day you’ll need to remind the last few people to move their cars, and get the bunting up early to get people going, along with road barriers.
Mr Gittins believes it is well worth the effort.
He said: “It’s a tradition in Britain to hold a street party at a royal event. “It’s a chance to meet the neighbours and I’d encourage people to give it a go, whether they are royalists or not.”
If you do opt to get your neighbours together, you’ll be keeping the long history of street parties going.
The tradition goes back almost 100 years with the first thought to have been held in 1919, to celebrate the signing of the Versailles peace treaty after the First World War.
Brits continued to hold them on major national celebration days, including the royal wedding of William’s parents, Charles and Diana in 1981.
With events such as annual street-party day The Big Lunch, their popularity has grown, offering the ideal opportunity for a good old-fashioned get-together.
For further information and an application form, visit towerhamletsarts.org.uk/.
- Your application form will include information on whether you plan to have live music or sell alcohol.
To close your street to traffic, you’ll need the permission of the council’s Transportation and Highways team, but this will be considered in your application.
You’ll also need to provide the necessary barriers and stewards, who can be local volunteers.
- To start the ball rolling, arrange a meeting with a few keen neighbours and agree on a date - to which you must invite the whole street through paper invitations, to prove to the council that you have ‘consulted’ everyone.
You can plan and share the jobs in around two or three meetings which will preferably be held in the street rather than a house, to make it open to everyone.
- The basic things to arrange are food, music, chairs and a soft-seated area, games for all ages - and of course a street party wouldn’t be the same without bunting.
You can buy Union Jacks, triangles or fringes to hang from one side of the road to the other online, with prices starting at around �35 for 100 metres - or you can make your own by sewing triangles onto tape or thin rope.