Party! There’s going to be a party on the street. Well so long as the council allow it.
Andrew Withers has previously mentioned the Royal Wedding where I made a comment about the organisation of street parties – it shouldn’t be done by the council or anyone in authority.
But what this I hear? Scarborough council is offering to help street parties organise themselves. At least they aren’t organising them directly, but they can’t help themselves from saying that they “suggest[s] they may be similar to the street events held in the borough last year”.
What the council’s involvement does show though is that the bureaucracy to do something as simple and spontaneous is so big that the organisers need to be trained to cope with the red tape and paper work and regulations covering things like road closures, insurance, entertainment licenses, and licenses to smile.
But are street parties something that will happen in these modern times. I suspect that even though lots of people are nostalgic about street parties in the 70s with the Silver Jubilee not many actually happened. Even in the 70s, neighbourliness was on the down turn and the only way a street party could happen is if most of the people on the street knew each other enough to get out and join in together to make it happen. With even fewer people knowing their neighbours street parties are even less likely to occur. And they aren’t seen as cool and with-it any more. Street parties might mean nostalgia for some of us, but for many others it means things like 70s flares and many other naff things.
There were one or two street parties for the previous royal wedding, but if anything that was an indication of the popularity of Diana than any sense of Britishness and Royalness and community cohesion. This time around the two royals are not the group A celebs guaranteed to get a front page story every time they fart.
A modern equivalent of a street party might be more like a carnival or show where people watch rather than get involved as the population has been trained and taught and cajoled into nudged into believing that those in authority (or perceived to be) are the ones who do everything and the rest just sit and soak it up.
Small parties of a small number of neighbours might take place in April, but they probably won’t be on the street. Instead they will be more than likely take place in the gardens with BBQs and trampolines and bouncy castles. So long as we don’t have an April Shower!