Royal Wedding: Community spirit shows in Monmouthshire

People in Lilac Drive, Monmouth, waving flags outside a house with bunting Residents of Lilac Drive in Monmouth get ready to celebrate on the big day

Related Stories

Organisers of street parties across Monmouthshire say they hope their celebrations will create a new sense of community in their neighbourhoods.

For them, the royal wedding isn't just a TV spectacle, it's also a rare chance to bring local people together.

Street party plans have already led to a new residents' association, fund-raising for a play area and a new role for a neighbourhood watch group.

Monmouthshire council has approved 10 royal wedding street celebrations.

Whilst the organisers will be watching Prince William and Kate Middleton on TV, they admit their real focus is closer to home.

"It's more of an excuse, to be honest with you... we always say that we should do something but we never do," said Colita Dainton, an organiser in Abergavenny.

Start Quote

I hope that young people will remember this and do something like it themselves in the future”

End Quote Gina Mayo street party organiser

"We're not particularly royalists. It's more community spirit that we're doing it for," said Brenda Christopher in Caldicot.

Celebrating the royal wedding has proved the perfect opportunity for neighbours to meet and work together, where they haven't done before.

Debbie Mather said of her party in Monmouth: "It's for the children, but some of the older residents have said "Thank you for this, we haven't had any sense of community here".

For Paul Taylor, planning a party in Abergavenny, it has proved an opportunity to expand the role of his newly-formed neighbourhood watch group.

Dog with a Royal Wedding flag Pets as well as people are part of the celebrations in Castle Lea, Caldicot

He said: "A number of people asked are we going to be doing anything for the royal wedding. We're the only group in the area."

But the street parties are not just about celebrating one day in the life of the heir to the throne; the organisers are keen to create a legacy.

"We are of an age where we remembered the 1977 silver jubilee; we wanted our children to have something to remember too," said Mandi Rugen-Hankey, a party organiser in Monmouth.

Gina Mayo, in Chepstow, hopes her local party gives local children greater community spirit: "I hope that young people will remember this and do something like it themselves in the future."

Start Quote

I hope that young people will remember this and do something like it themselves in the future”

End Quote Gina Mayo Street party organiser

Yet, as well as happy memories, some aim for their street parties to leave a more concrete legacy.

In Caldicot, Four View Residents Association has been formed to organise the party, and it is using their wedding celebration as an opportunity to raise funds for local children.

One of the organisers said: "All the money that we hope to raise, we hope to build a play area on a nearby field.

"There was nothing [here], there was the old neighbourhood watch. But there was never anything to bring everyone together before."

Whilst the organisers are spending many hours of planning and preparation to create happy memories and closer neighbourhoods, there is one thing they can't plan: the British weather.

But as one determined woman who will be attending Mrs Dainton's party told her: "Well, if it rains, we'll all come out with umbrellas."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC South East Wales

Weather

Cardiff

Min. Night 2 °C

Features & Analysis

  • BeefaloBeefalo hunt

    The hybrid animal causing havoc in the Grand Canyon


  • Blow torchTorch of hope Watch

    An ancient art form helps troubled youth pick up the pieces


  • This Chinese character has taken China's internet by stormDuang duang duang

    How a new word 'broke the Chinese internet'


  • Don Roberto Placa Quiet Don

    The world's worst interview - with one of the loneliest men on Earth


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree

Programmes

  • 3D model of Christ the Redeemer statueClick Watch

    Using drones to 3D map the famous Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.