8:00am Wednesday 6th June 2012
By Tom Mooney
The weather ruined large parts of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Chippenham - but a few hardy souls braved the downpours to mark the occasion.
The town council’s flagship event in John Coles Park was badly affected by the lunchtime downpours today.
Though crowds turned out early-on, most had departed by the time mayor Andy Phillips unveiled a commemorative bench and tree in the lower part of the park.
But a few stuck around to enjoy the bouncy castles and craft tents.
Coun Phillips said: “We had a big crowd here this morning and even when it started raining plenty stayed - they were the true Brits celebrating the British Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“But in general it has been a wonderful weekend, not only with the Jubilee but with the folk festival and flower festival in town. Having them all going on at once has made this a really special week.”
There were also street parties around the town over the weekend.
In Downing Street, which is famed for its royal celebrations, the rain again played a big part in proceedings today.
Starting among the showers at 2pm, the deluge restricted some of the fun and games but they still anticpated a big turnout.
Resident Carol Heneghan said: “Everybody has supplied lots of food and drinks, lots of people have been baking cakes.
“And we have had a best dressed window competition in the street.
“Lots of the residents have been keen to get involved and we do have a tradition of celebrating royal events in Downing Street, right back to the coronation of King George VI.”
They had slightly better luck in King Alfred Street, where an early start meant they made the most of today’s dry conditions.
Organiser Nathan Brown said: “We had a really traditional street party, with tables and gazebos lining the street.
“We had about 120 people out in the morning, which was really great to see.
“We had egg and spoon races, juggling and skittles. And one of our neighbours, Tom Perkins, who carried the Olympic Torch a couple of weeks ago, came and had pictures with lots of the residents.
“It was a real community effort, which can be unusual for many streets I think.”
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