A spirit of flag-waving celebration swept across the Chichester area as a fitting tribute to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
From the wealth of bunting-bedecked street parties, through to the city’s gala event on Saturday, thousands of residents made the most of the four-day bank holiday.
There was also a welcome boost for the area’s hard-pressed retailers, with cafe, bar and restaurant businesses in particular experiencing a surge in trade, as people turned out in force to mark the historic occasion.
Louise Fenwick, vice-president of the city’s chamber of commerce, believed the area had genuinely offered its praise to her majesty’s 60-year reign in fine style.
She said: “Chichester did itself proud this Jubilee – from the effort made on the fabulous shop windows, to the bunting around town and in the various events that were taking place, it was great that businesses in Chichester marked the occasion so well.
“It was good to see families celebrating the historic event together and the Chichester streets, cafes and restaurants were far busier than usual.”
Kenrick Garraway, assistant economic director at Chichester District Council, also hailed the celebrations as offering a huge boost to the area. With Chichester gearing up for Olympic festivities over the summer, he revealed there was plenty of optimism surrounding its upcoming events.
He said: “The Jubilee weekend was a phenomenal success and we are delighted with the knock-on effect this has had for local traders. The city-centre streets were lined on Saturday for the Chichester Gala, and Priory Park was packed for the celebration events, culminating in the concert in the evening. We are now very excited about the Olympics, and looking forward to all this will bring to the area’s economy.”
Among the most visually-striking celebrations was a party in West Street on Monday.
A swirl of colour, decorations and nostalgic music marked the occasion, in which residents rustled up dishes of food to create some real community spirit.
Ali Kittermaster, 43 said: “It is lovely to see all the community getting together and celebrating such a momentous occasion. It is so colourful and lovely to see everyone making such an effort, everyone is really happy.”
She added: “Sometimes we don’t even know who our next-door neighbours are. Sometimes it can all get a bit depressing, but it is lovely just to enjoy your friends and family.”
Residents lined the middle of West Street with fold-up tables covered in home-made cakes, sandwiches, biscuits and other jubilee treats.
There was also a sea of colourful balloons, bunting and streamers, with vintage sounds being played for everyone to enjoy. Children wore red, white and blue face paint and hats.
Miz Harris, 33, of Lavant said: “We came to the party to spend it with my parents, it looks absolutely fantastic, I have never seen anything like it. It is all so impressive and we have come for a real family day out.”