Last year's party was so good, we did it again!

August 25 2017

WHEN it comes to being neighbourly, this group of residents are streets ahead.

WHEN it comes to being neighbourly, this group of residents are streets ahead.

For the group all live in Woodhall Close in Downend and have just celebrated their second successful street party.

Neighbours held an inaugural party last July and followed it up with an Easter egg hunt earlier this year which prompted another summer get together.

Nicolette Usher, neighbour and one of the organisers, said: "We started the ball rolling at Easter, when those families with children and grandchildren got together to have an egg hunt around the Close, which was a great success.

"It made us realise how much we all enjoy getting together and organising events we can all get involved in."

Learning lessons from the first street party, plans were put in place to ensure this one would be even better.

Nicolette, 41, who lives on the cul-de-sac with husband Chris, daughter Eloise and stepson Ewan, said: "We thought it would be less wasteful and more cost effective for each family to contribute a small amount of money to fund all the party food and items rather than people bring something to share, which due to everyone’s generosity last year, resulted in huge amounts of food left over. 

"We contacted all the residents by letter and set up a street Facebook group to get views and we really pleased with the enthusiasm of practically every one of the 26 households wanting to take part."

The party was opened up to extended families which meant that nearly 80 adults and children took part, including four generations from one household. 

Neighbours closed the road in the early afternoon and everyone pitched in to decorate the island and set up tables, chairs and barbecue. Children also played a part by decorating the pavements with chalk pictures. 

Thankfully the weather stayed bright so children were able to play in paddling pools which had been set up. The fun started officially at 3pm and went on until after dark.

"There were plenty of helping hands and a few sore heads for the clear up the next morning but everyone agreed it was a great day," Nicolette said.

Woodhall Close has a varied mix of residents - from families with young children to three residents in their 90s, who moved into the newly built houses in the 1950s.

Nicolette said: "With the fast pace of life these days and the fact that we always seem to be rushing from one place to the other, it can be rare that you have a chance to stop and chat to your neighbours. 

"There are a number of families with children at the nearby Stanbridge Primary School who often play together but we may not see other residents for months on end. 

"We’ve also had three new families move into the street, so we thought it was not only an important opportunity to meet those families but also the chance to get together and have some fun as a community.

"It really has made a difference because now everybody waves and says hello. We are incredibly lucky that we have a great set of neighbours and it's great for everyone to know there's community spirit here and everyone looks out for each other."

Original resident Ken Hancock said: "When I was younger and able to get out more in my front garden and people drove less, you’d often see the neighbours walking past to stop and chat to. But that’s not the case anymore so it’s wonderful to be able to see some of the other older residents and catch up whilst the younger ones get to socialise as well."