The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was held on the 2nd June 1953, at a point when Britain was still struggling with food rations and the country’s economic climate was in turmoil. However, the 1950s was also a period of time when neighbours and communities worked in harmony, and so they all came together to celebrate on that historic day.
60 years later and it is Queen Elizabeth’s official diamond jubilee and we want to celebrate in style. We are by no means suggesting you ration your guests to a few grams worth of sweets but cutting back on your spending could help you hold a jubilee party without the diamond prices.
You will obviously need tables to lay out the food and chairs for somewhere to sit, so instead of splashing the cash to buy new ones, or even to hire ones, ask the neighbours! Nearly every household owns a pasting table, even if not for pasting, these tables come incredibly handy when having a large gathering.
If everyone is generous enough to bring their pasting tables and plastic patio tables, you should have plenty. Plus with a pick ‘n’ mix of dining chairs, armchairs, deck chairs, and patio chairs, you’ll have an array of seating to suit everyone.
If you do find yourself short you might be able to ask a local church or community centre to see if you could borrow their chairs and tables, or pay a minimal fee or hire them.
No jubilee street party is complete without lots of decoration! As you might not want all the guests to see the old pasting tables, you could buy cheap white tablecloths (or even bed sheets) from the supermarket to cover everything up.
Grab yourself some fun napkins and paper plates adorned with the Union Jack for a real patriotic street party feel. Perhaps go a step further with some old curtains or cheap colourful fabric and ask someone to whip up some colour tablecloths with a sewing machine – if not, it’s no big deal.
Whatever decorations you opt for, you can’t forget the bunting! With the jubilee being a national event the supermarkets will be full of all the usual decoration, so you should have no problem getting your hands on some cheap plastic bunting to hang from the streetlights (http://www.streetparty.org.uk/bunting.aspx).
Balloons are ideal for all occasions, you don’t have to go to specialise provider for fancy archways or centrepieces. Just grab a few £1 packs from a local store and get the neighbours to spend the morning blowing them up. Make sure they’re weighted, or tied to a chair!
Your table decorations don’t have to be anything fancy, you could pick flowers from the local area and display them in jam jars or ask the neighbours to each bring a vase from home. One great way to light up the area when the sun starts to set is with tealights. String together a load of jam jars, insert tealights and hang them around the area, or simply set them on the tables.
Your first thought for a street party might be paper plates, plastic knives and forks, and paper cups, but this isn’t any old street party, this is the diamond jubilee street party. If you really want to push the boat out and reminisce about the 1950s, why not lay the table with china crockery? Expensive, I know, but if each household was willing to pull out their old china, you could get a real 1950s feel to your street party without spending a penny. Alternatively, you could try hiring china (although not a good idea due to potential breakages), or even better, scour charity shops and car boot sale s for some real bargains.
There’s nothing wrong with having a few wine spritzers or glasses of champagne to mark the occasion, but to celebrate in true British style, what better than a cup of tea? If you managed to get your hands on some china teapots, you could really make this a traditional British street party by serving tea – it will save a small fortune compared to fizzy or alcoholic drinks too!
What are you going to eat at the street party? Don’t spend an arm and a leg on a buffet with curled sandwiches and stale food, use your imagination. What is decidedly British? Fish and chips, perhaps? Each household could chip (excuse the pun) in a few pounds for each person and enjoy a delicious fish and chip supper.
If you’re not up for that, maybe go down the traditional route with cream cakes and cucumber sandwiches. Whatever takes your fancy, just ask the neighbours to spare a few quid for the kitty.
|Written by :|
|Jemma is a news & research reporter for compareandsave.com.Having worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.|