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East Lancashire celebrates royal wedding
5:00pm Friday 29th April 2011 in Mellor
Prince William and Kate Middleton are now married - and East Lancashire's street party celebrations are well underway.
The couple, who will one day be king and queen, are now HRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Across East Lancashire, there are 61 official street parties where road closure orders have been obtained by residents.
More than 700 people tucked into sausages, burgers, pizza and ice cream at the party in Church Lane, Mellor.
The beginning of the event was signalled by the ringing of the church bells and it was officially opened by the Mellor Rose Queen, Eve Summersgill at 2pm.
Graham Tipper, from the street party committee, said: "It has been a tremendous day so far and everyone is really enjoying themselves.
"The party atmosphere is fantastic."
Raynor Pepper, organiser of a party in Lindsay Park, Worsthorne, said: “It’s been a bit stressful, you don’t realise everything that goes in to organising a street party.
“It was well worth it though, we had around 150 people attend and we had a sack race, lads and dads football, karaoke, egg and spoon race, bingo and even dads dancing.
“It has been a bit windy but we managed to get through it, there has been a real community spirit."
Around New Bank Road, Blackburn, hundreds of people are attending a street party organised by members of the Muslim community with magic shows, children’s games, a live rock band, as well as food, bunting - and community leaders in stocks.
Catherine Murphy, who owns Bacup Hub off Burnley Road, let the Bacup Community Association use the building for a free knees-up, and declared it a big success.
Around 60 people attended, with many watching the ceremony on two big screens and projecters inside and outside the hall.
Catherine said: "There was a sweetie hunt for the children and a very good buffet put on by the association chairman Dave East.
"There was a real jovial atmosphere, with people as pleased to have a day off work as they were patriotic.
"The high point was when everyone cheered at the kiss."
More than 60 residents tucked into vol-au-vents and salmon sandwiches at a get-together in Abbeyfields and Abbots Croft, Whalley.
Residents gathered under a marquee with tables brimming with sweet treats including cakes and trifles.
Gill Taylor, said: "It's been a bit blustery but everybody is having a lovely time.
"The road is closed so the children have taken the opportunity to ride around on their bikes.
"They are having loads of fun and it has been great for the new residents as welll as they have got to know loads more people."
Luke Hamleton, 32, and his partner Nicola Owen, 28, organised a street party in Witton Street, Brierfield.
Luke said: "Getting ready for the party has been a long process but one that has been very worth it.
"It's been great to get all the neighbours together as we often don't say more than a fleeting hello.
"I remembered the Jubliee and we wanted to create some of our own magic."
Jacqueline Cronshaw, 42, of Garfield Street, Accrington, said their small terraced street had been transformed into a sea of colour.
Along with bunting and flags, the party saw guests arrive kitted out in Union Jack and princess costumes, which were completed with the party’s face painting activities.
She said: “Today has been really exciting for the children and the street has been filled with people. It’s not just the neighbours because all the extended families have come too.
“We have got going with really traditional games for the children like pass the parcel and egg and spoon races.
"We’ve had a great barbecue on as well as a buffet and everyone is smiling and having a ball”.
The royal wedding began just after 11am in front of a congregation of 1,900 at Westminster Abbey and a potential global television audience of up to two billion.
Miss Middleton, resplendent in an ivory gown with lace applique floral detail designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, arrived at the abbey on time.
Her bridal flowers contained a tribute to her husband-to-be - her bouquet included sweet William.
Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers flocked to the processional route from the abbey to Buckingham Palace, ready to catch a glimpse of the happy couple.