With 34 street parties on Friday in Hammersmith & Fulham, no one is perhaps as excited as Javon Parnell, organiser of a royal celebration bash in Pearscroft Road, Sands End in South Fulham.
It seemed that, at the last minute, Mr Parnell’s months of hard work organising a barbecue, music and games to celebrate the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, would be all for nothing and that
the party would have to be cancelled – because the road was on a main London bus route.
But with another street party taking place in Broughton Road, on the same number 424 bus route, H&F Council sprang into action to save the day. Council bosses made sure the parties went ahead, negotiating with Transport for London and London Buses that the bus should travel down other roads. London Buses agreed and the route has been changed for one day only.
Cllr Harry Phibbs, cabinet member for resident engagement, said:
“We certainly couldn’t let almost 200 residents down so in their hour of need so, with real community spirit and enthusiasm that has gripped our borough, our council officers pulled out all the stops to get TfL to re-route the bus. It means now that everyone can enjoy the day safely with the roads closed off to all traffic and both parties can go with a bang!
“The royal wedding is a fantastic opportunity for communities to come together and have a jolly good party so we had to do everything possible to make sure we helped that happen.”
Mr Parnell, 44, has spent the last few months setting up the do and has enlisted the support of around 100 neighbours for the big day on Friday, including an elderly people’s home and the many families who live on the Bulow Estate.
Mr Parnell said:
“I did think ‘oh, it won’t happen now,’ because I couldn’t hold the party while traffic was coming down the road. So I was delighted when the council phoned me up and said it had all been sorted. I had a meeting that night too and nothing was looking good – I had no barbecue, no road closure and no news to share, other than we might not have a party – so it was a joy when I was told we could do it!
Mr Parnell grew up in Sands End and remembers the last time the area held a street party in 1977 to commemorate The Queen’s silver jubilee.
“I was thinking that so many people wouldn’t remember 1977 or ever would have experienced a street party, so I thought I’d try and organise something.
“We’re going to have some food, music, egg and spoon races and three-legged football and it’s great to get all the families involved. There’s a real feeling of excitement and now I’m just hopeful that the weather is nice and it doesn’t rain.”
The 424 bus will not stop in Pearscroft Road and Broughton Road on Friday April 29, 9am-10pm, and instead will travel via Imperial Road and Townsmead Road. There are also another two parties being held in the Sands End area.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council is also calling on residents and party-goers to send in their photos to email@example.com and share them with other residents. The best photos will be selected for
a Flickr gallery on the council's website.