PICTURES: Cambrai Avenue street party

People were happy to congregate in the street despite the rain on Sunday
People were happy to congregate in the street despite the rain on Sunday

Residents of Cambrai Avenue braved pouring rain and thunder on Sunday to celebrate their annual street party.

What began as a beautiful day in Chichester gradually grew greyer as clouds gathered, with heavy rain hitting at 3pm, just as the party started.

Street parties always bring out the best in people

Street parties always bring out the best in people

But that did not deter the friendly street from congregating to enjoy food, drink and music with their neighbours.

Helene Zervas has lived in Cambrai Avenue for just six months.

She said: “Ever since we moved here people say hello down the street. It’s so friendly so it’s really nice to have a street party. There’s a really strong sense of community.”

With the street closed off to traffic, children played football out in the road.

Former Cambrai Avenue resident Greg James with son Frank, six

Former Cambrai Avenue resident Greg James with son Frank, six

Greg James lived in Cambrai Avenue for eight years before moving to Littlefield Road and was there with his six-year-old son, Frank.

He said Cambrai Avenue is ‘a brilliant street’ and the party ‘takes most of us back to our youth when we were kids in the seventies’.

“It’s nice to have the freedom to run around outside in the street without the fear of being run over or told off,” he added.

When asked what his favourite thing was about the party, Frank said ‘everything’.

Cambria Avenue street party organisers Becky and Ninesh Edwards

Cambria Avenue street party organisers Becky and Ninesh Edwards

Becky and Ninesh Edwards have organised the party for the last five years since it started with the Queen’s Jubilee.

“There is so much goodwill,” said Becky.

“I think street parties always bring out the best in people.

“We try to do it every year because it’s a way of meeting everyone and after the party people always say hello.”

Residents took along cakes, lemonade and other treats to share

Residents took along cakes, lemonade and other treats to share

The Cambrai residents brought cakes, lemonade and other treats to share.

Ninesh, who is responsible for the music on the day, said: “There’s usually a theme. For the jubilee we went for all British artists and now we are just going for stuff that gets people dancing.”

There were even some visitors over from the continent to enjoy the Great British summer.

Alain Gilbert, from Le Mans, France, said the party was ‘bizarre and rather damp, but really nice’.

“The road is very unique and there’s a certain joie de vivre despite the weather,” he added.

Phil and Maja Pitts said they have something similar in their own road in Switzerland.

“We also close down the street from traffic and have people bringing out food and a band,” they said.

When asked if they have similar weather, they said: “We get lucky or we don’t get lucky.”

The party continued until around 7pm, when the sun came back out.