Beneath rain-soaked gazebos and with soggy pork pies and union flags in hand, the residents of Marple Bridge were determined to celebrate the 90th birthday of our queen.
It had rained for most of the day but the ebbing and flowing community had only mildly dampened spirits whilst being entertained by a DJ and live music from the John Cooper band. Then (thankfully), shortly before 3pm, as if by royal decree, the rain abated, skies brightened and the Marple Band took to the stage.
The opening piece, The National Anthem, was received to loud cheers and applause as the street party took on a more traditional note. As hot coffee made way for pints and ice creams the crowds grew and the party atmosphere took hold. The audience sang along and danced to strains from Vera Lynn medley, ‘Keep Smiling Through’ (which they were) and well-known crowd-pleasers like The Floral Dance and Lincolnshire Poacher.
Musical Director, Stephen Sutton, invited young children to conduct the band under the gaze of admiring parents and grandparents, each followed by rapturous applause. The party mood continued with rousing film music, patriotic marches and, of course, Singing in the Rain! The well-received concert culminated in scenes reminiscent of Last Night of the Proms with union flags being enthusiastically waved to The Sailor’s Hornpipe, Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Pomp and Circumstance.
After receiving many comments of ‘thanks for making the event a true street party’ it was clear the mix of finger food, warm beer, plastic hats, the British spirit and a live traditional brass band was more than a match for the average weather.