Diamond Jubilee: ‘We had a party on all streets – now it’s just one’
“I WAS crawling under these tables 60 years ago,” said Brian Suttie, 65, who was one of the few former residents of Edinburgh’s Stockbridge Colonies to remember the Queen’s Coronation street party.
“There was a party on every street then, rather than just one and I remember the mugs and the flags. It’s funny looking back at the archive footage in black and white.”
Mr Suttie celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at the Colonies’ street party yesterday with his sister, who still lives in the house they grew up in around the corner.
Decorated with Union flag bunting and red, white and blue balloons, the street was a hive of activities – including fancy dress, a cake competition and even a Zumba class courtesy of the local swimming pool.
The party was one of just 100 street parties being held in Scotland over the bank holiday weekend, compared to over 9,000 in England and Wales. A third of the Scottish street parties were in the capital.
But while numbers may have been fewer, as the day went on and down south the rain forced even the Prime Minister to move indoors, Scotland was blessed with blue skies.
“The Lord did provide good weather,” said 92-year-old Isabel Cram basking in the warmth of the city’s prestigious Ann Street.
“Which he should considering all the Queen has done for him.”
Mrs Cram is one of oldest residents of the street which is an apparent favourite with the Royal Family. According to the residents, the late Queen Mother would ask to be driven along Ann Street when she was in Edinburgh because she thought it was so beautiful.
Its residents had contributed £25 per household to ensure a hog roast, a few glasses of wine and entertainment from Stockbridge Pipe Band.
It was a civilised affair with 1940s music sponge cakes and rounders for the kids in nearby Dean Park.
Elsewhere celebrations were a bit rowdier. Union Jack cup-cakes were literally flying around Murrayfield Avenue, as some residents tried to balance them on hats.
A tombola, home-made tiara competition, fancy dress and scavenger hunt produced some unusual looking children.
Lady Jill Kirkwood’s own contribution was a Union flag meringue cake. The 66-year-old charity director has lived on the street for 35 years.
“This is a lovely place to live,” she said. “It has always been a happy, friendly street. That’s why we’re still here.
“We all admire the Queen and what she’s done. Both her and the Duke of Edinburgh, who has given such support, are fantastic. She’s never put a foot wrong.”
At the Queen’s official Scottish residence – the Palace of Holyroodhouse – events were quieter. As the wind died down and a large-screen television began to broadcast the boat pageant being held on the River Thames in London, things picked up with a small but steady stream of people. Further up the Royal Mile, guests were encouraged to “raise a cuppa to Her Majesty” at an afternoon tea.
The street is also home to Canongate Kirk, where the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips married rugby star Mike Tindall in July last year for the year’s second royal wedding.
In Aberdeen, a free family concert was staged in Duthie Park, followed by a tea party.
The concert included the world premiere of the Aberdeen Anthem, which was gifted to the city by Professor in Composition Paul Mealor at the University of Aberdeen to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West