The sun shone on the 16th Park Road Street Party with around 100 residents taking part.

The road was closed to vehicles at 11am on Sunday June 2 with weeks of cold, windy, unsettled weather giving way to a blue sky.

Children from up and down the road and neighbouring Sylvan Close and Ivy Lane made their way on bikes and scooters while the adults erected gazebos and trestle tables and set up barbecues.

Park Road Street Party
Families set up garden furniture for some al fresco dining (Richard Hennessy)
Park Road Street Party
Meat for the barbecues was bought from a local butcher (Richard Hennessy)
Park Road Street Party
A highlight was Tony’s Super Whip ice cream van (Richard Hennessy)
Park Road Street Party
Each family contributed a salad or a pudding (Richard Hennessy)

This year’s event was organised by Hannah White and was started in 2009 by Richard Hennessy, the Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, as part of  an Eden Project scheme to encourage people to eat with their neighbours.

To accompany the sausages, chicken and burgers from local butcher Vincents, each family  contributed a salad or a pudding .

The street party went ahead despite the street furniture and traffic lights, because of works to replace gas pipes.

“As in other years, a highlight was Tony’s Super Whip ice cream van coming down the road,” Richard said.

“Children stopped whatever they were doing and soon formed a queue, while parents dashed home to get some change, as having ready money seems to have become a dying habit.”

The street party has become a useful and enjoyable way for new residents to meet their neighbours and the group celebrates the arrival of babies.

Sometimes it coincides with important national events and, last year, marked the coronation of King Charles III.

The street party was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic lockdown. It returned the following year as a “bring your own” meal because of Covid restrictions.

The event is now fully back and as popular as ever.

“It was clear that everybody had had a good time,” Richard said.

“They stayed out till early evening chatting and making the most of the lovely weather.”