Everyday Adventures Family Adventure Capital Jubilympics

Jubilee Street Party Record Attempt

Written by Kirstie Pelling
Morecambe Prom Jubilee Street Party

Never mind the weather, this is Britain and we will street party.

At the Morecambe Jubilee Street Party

It is possibly the longest and possibly the shortest street party in Britain. On the promenade of the Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe, locals and visitors brave the wind and rain to break a world record. And once they perceive their job is done, they go home to watch the Queen on TV. 

Morecambe Prom

It’s brollies, jackets and fleece for this summer party.

As visitors take posh afternoon tea in the art deco Midland Hotel, they watch as the real party takes place on the prom outside. More than 1.5 miles of rain spattered wooden tables stretching from Aldi, past the pier and the statue of Eric Morecambe to the old lifeboat station.

A very British scene

Tables covered in every form of union jack memorabilia known to Morecambe; flags, paper plates, cake stands, china tea pots; this is a very British tea party.

Street Party

Some 550 tables stretch for a mile and a half along the prom

It’s also cheerful carnage as people attempt to hold on to their drinks as their balloons fly away, their pompom wigs swell with rain and their umbrellas threaten to turn inside out.

The people of Morecambe

The people of Morecambe will not be deterred by the weather

Tea, songs and cake

“What shall we sing next?” says a lady in a pink crown who stands proudly at the head of her table while the rest of her party huddle under umbrellas. The Cowboy Line Dancing club shuffles into the wind, as the local WI members try to give cakes away to passing people, who peer from hoods with party hats strung over the top. 

Flags and bunting

Flags, bunting and tablecloths flap in the wind

“Please take some of these, they’re getting soggy,” say Louise and Sarah, pressing home made sweets into our hands. As long term Morecambe residents they are proud to be part of this Jubilee celebration. “Lived here all our lives,” they grin. “And this is brilliant, everyone coming together like this. If you try some of our chocolate battenberg sweets you’ll make us very happy.”

The Royals

Lots of tea, cake and waving from the Royals

Could it be a world record street party?

A woman blowing a hooter stops the police car that’s crawling along the prom behind Scooby Doo. “We won, we won the record,” she screams into their half open window. But Abigail Fawcett, who works for  the Town Council is more cautious in her assessment. “It’s borderline. We don’t know yet. We’re still waiting for the result. There’s another town in Britain also going for the record.”

William and Kate

Is that William and Kate?

The council were expecting up to three thousand people to turn up to the world record street party attempt but this isn’t really the story of a record. It’s a story of British character and stoicism. For a moment in time, no one single person here is willing to let the rain and the wind defeat their tribute to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Sixty minutes of wind swept street party celebrating sixty years of service.

End of Street Party

After an hour or so, gaps open in the lines of tables as less hardy souls beat the retreat

It’s certainly mad enough

With painted faces, they drink champagne, eat barbecued burgers and munch on cupcakes as the rain beats onto the arms of their picnic chairs. The Queen of Hearts carries on with her very own Mad Hatter’s tea party.

The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts stays the duration though

A patriotic pirate has another sausage roll, and even Eric Morecambe himself joins in; despite being half strangled by the string of flags around his neck.

Eric Morecambe

Eric Morecambe is dressed for the occassion

And then, almost as soon as it’s got going, it’s all over. By 2pm, the tables are emptying, and by ten past, volunteers are starting to disassemble the line.

Empty Street Party

The longest street party may also turn out to be one of the shortest

Over so quickly

All that remains are some very happy gulls, swooping down to devour the remains of a cheese sandwich. Oh and a few cupcakes to polish off.

Eating cake

Some things are just too good for the gulls

If you turned up an hour after the party had begun, you’d wonder if anyone had bothered to show up at all, let alone if they broke the record.

Bin Bag

Bin Bag

 

Do you have that stoic spirit? We’d love to hear about your experiences of partying against the elements.

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.

4 Comments

  • Hi. Our family were there: Peter, Marilyn, David, Sarah, Ryan and Louise – along with 48 other people from Torrisholme Methodists. Soggy, but unbowed. A great wet, windy, time had by all. And before the Morecambe cliches start, we can tell you the day before was like a scorching August day and the day after was dry and warm. Bad timing, that’s all! 3 cheers for Morecambe stamina and community spirit!

  • […] First, as a tribute to Her Majesty, we’re planning a Royal themed day, staying at Rubens Hotel on Buckingham Palace Road, apparently the closest hotel to HM’s place (or is that palace?) We’re going to check everything is still OK with the changing of the guard (I’ve not seen that since I was a kid), visit Kensington Palace and have a Little Prince and Princesses Tea at the Milestone Hotel. Maybe HMQ will be as hospitable as these locals on Morecambe Prom […]

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