Some wet weather certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of Hertfordshire residents as street parties took place across the county to mark the coronation of King Charles III.
Hertfordshire County Council approved almost 400 applications for street parties over the extended bank holiday. It had waived the usual road closure fees in hope of encouraging as many people as possible to take up the opportunity to properly celebrate the momentous occasion.
There were plenty of street parties in and around the county town – with Mayor of Hertford Susan Barber in attendance at many of them. More than 60 residents enjoyed a street party in Warren Terrace, Bengeo, last Saturday.
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Resident Dorothy Toyn said: “Gazebos came to the rescue and we still managed various games – pass the parcel, a coronation quiz, doughnut eating, a coconut shy, hook-a-duck and a fancy dress competition judged by Mayor Susan Barber and won by Ian Bosward. We also had an amazing raffle and we raised £150 for the Mayor’s charities.
“Peter Ruffles also came and was thanked by the Terrace for all his years of service to Bengeo and Hertford on the various local councils. Residents provided an amazing array of food, including a Coronation quiche, and a celebration cake, made by myself, was cut by the Mayor. A great time was had by all despite the weather!”
A street party was held in Lilbourne Drive, Hertford, also on Saturday, and despite the rain, around 70 residents joined the celebrations. Cllr Barber, accompanied by Deputy Mayor Rosemary Bolton, also attended, and had the difficult task of judging the entries of the junior bake-off competition. Prizes were awarded for the best decorated and the best tasting cake. Cllr Barber commented on the high standard of the entries. Caitlin and Lucy were announced as worthy winners. There was also music and a beat the goalie competition.
The weather brightened come Sunday when the street parties in Hertford continued. More than 100 people joined the celebrations in Peel Crescent. Resident Laura Cook said: “We were very fortunate to enjoy the good weather on Sunday. It was a great community event enjoyed by around 120 residents. We had music, wonderful food and drinks, quizzes, crafts and plenty for children. We were very fortunate to have the Mayor of Hertford attend to meet so many of us. It was a wonderful day enjoyed by all.”
The sun also shone for residents in Fordwich Rise, Hertford, whose celebrations were described as having a “real carnival atmosphere”. Resident Laura Sleight said: “We had a fantastic day with the sun shining and a real carnival atmosphere for our royal celebrations.
“The road was buzzing with activity from face painting to biscuit decorating, a treasure hunt, royal quiz and traditional races for adults and children. Budding bakers entered a cake competition with some delicious entries decorated with crowns, bunting, Union Jack flags and even one cake in the shape of King Charles III himself.
“Neighbours gathered on fold out chairs and picnic blankets while the enticing smell of communal barbecues filled the air. An ice cream van brought shrieks of delight, while drinks flowed and party tunes played.”
Bunting and Union Jack flags adorned Glenwood, Broxbourne, where there was a street party, including live music from the Hoddesdon Allstars, as there was too a street party in Benford Road, Hoddesdon. In Carleton Road, Cheshunt, between 150 and 200 people, including family and friends of residents, joined the street party.
“There are residents who have lived here for over 50 years and some only a few months but we all came together and made it a great day,” explained resident Amy Claydon. “One gentleman said he has lived in the UK for 50 years plus and has never been invited to a street party and couldn’t thank us enough for organising.
“From the raffle to the games the bouncy castle, face painting food from every cultural background and dancing we really came together as a community and I think it will change our street for the future. We even had a visit from the MP Sir Charles Walker and the police drop in for a sandwich and a few pics too.”
Residents of Vincent Close, Cheshunt, also celebrated the coronation. Resident Wendy Pinnell explained: “On Sunday, May 7 80+ residents, family and friends came out in the sunshine to celebrate the Kings Coronation. We decorated the Close with bunting and flags etc and had tables and chairs for everyone to sit at for afternoon tea. We had adult and children’s fancy dress competitions, sports day races, crafts, dancing, a visit from the ice cream van and celebration cakes.
“We also had a royal themed quiz and a raffle in which we raised £380 for Isabel Hospice. We are a small close where the neighbours look out for each other and we feel very blessed to have this special little community.”
Other celebrations included a civic service at All Saints Church, Hertford, followed by a family-friendly picnic on Hertford Castle lawn, where the Coronation Concert streamed live in the evening. Ware Food Festival returned with a royal twist and a King’s Coronation Family Fun Day was held at Seth Ward Community Centre, Buntingford, which had a laser show finale. A Coronation Festival was also held in Cedars Park, Cheshunt.
Take a look through our gallery below. How did you celebrate the coronation? Let us know in the comments.