Published: 05:00, 22 January 2022
From marking the end of the world wars to raising a glass for The Queen's Coronation - hanging out the bunting, pulling up a chair and throwing a street party is a tradition deeply ingrained in British culture.
And this summer - after two years separated from friends and family and so many parties and occasions missed as a result of the pandemic - communities are expected to be hungrier than ever before for a slice of Victoria Sponge and a neighbourhood knees-up to toast the Platinum Jubilee.
With the UK's long history of organised street parties to celebrate national events, those overseeing 2022 celebrations for the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty's reign hope closes, cul-de-sacs and crescents across the county will unite and throw a party fit for a queen.
If you're keen to get your friends and neighbours together this year, here's how you can get the ball rolling on your street's celebrations:
When can you throw a Platinum Jubilee street party?
Anyone wishing to organise a party for neighbours for the Platinum Jubilee can do so right across this year's extended bank holiday weekend.
Events to officially mark the 70th anniversary are taking place from Thursday, June 2 until Sunday June 5 and will include parades, live music concerts and church services and street parties are welcome on any of those days.
Alternatively The Big Jubilee Lunch, which first began back in 2009, and encourages communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little better is happening on Sunday, July 5.
The first Big Jubilee Lunch to celebrate Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 was a roaring success and significantly boosted the number of gatherings so it is hoped this year's event will encourage Platinum Jubilee celebrations in every community on the Sunday once again.
Making a start
Organisating a street party solely for residents and neighbours should be relatively simple.
And those overseeing this summer's events nationwide say they expect local councils to take a gentle approach where authorities can and make the process straightforward, to enable as many local small-scale celebrations to take place as possible for the Jubilee.
A street party doesn't need to be complicated - but the number one tip is to plan early.
While a central or main contact for someone in your street or organising group might be beneficial for the benefit of any form filling, everyone can bring something and neighbours can share the organising among themselves, which alongside ensuring one person doesn't take on the entire load and all the responsibility, can help build a sense of ownership of the event by everyone living nearby.
Most small parties in quiet streets where you wish to close a road for a short time will require you to notify your local council about your intentions.
They will want to know when the road closure is taking place if you think you need one, so that they can sure they plan around it and if necessary put in place a temporary traffic regulation order and organise some road signs. Although according to the Street Party website sometimes even these can be waived for a short number of hours, particularly if the event is being held in a cul-de -sac or close with a dead end and no through traffic.
Organising a traffic regulation order may require around six weeks advance notice and while this deadline is a guide it is worth knowing considering the numbers who may apply this year. There is no actual cut-off in law but local authorities will need to ensure they can process everyone in time and so may stipulate their own deadlines as we get ever closer to June.
Government guidance for holding Jubilee street events states: "If councils really need more information, they will contact organisers, but they are expected to take a ‘light touch’ approach. If your council asks for excessive information, you should challenge them."
And while the law allows councils to charge for the cost of arranging a traffic regulation order, and some may ask for a small fee, they are not required to do so and in the case of this year's Jubilee events officials are being encouraged to make it as affordable as possible if required.
The advice from central government explains: "If your council is making a charge, you have every right to question what those charges are for and to check they are reasonable."
In Kent, Kent County Council says it is in the process of preparing a form for its website here which will enable people to express an interest in throwing an event and offering them all the details to get their plans up and running.
What is a Street Meet?
A street party doesn't need to involve the closure of a road - particularly if your home is on a busy route or major junction that makes that difficult if not impossible and the logistics are likely to be complicated and drawn out.
You can alternatively, keep your road open and organise something called a Street Meet instead.
The guide to this year's Jubilee parties outlines that these tend to take place on private land such as a driveway, courtyard or front garden without any requirement to fill in council forms.
While residents should still speak to the council about their plans to ensure they are aware and the street party is being counted, Street Meets are the most simple form of throwing a small gathering for neighbours.
If you are all slow to come together a Street Meet is also a great alternative option for throwing your Platinum Jubilee street party at short notice, should you have missed any deadlines for submitting more official paperwork.
Risk assessments, insurance and licences
While councils will want to know about your intention to party outside with neighbours, particularly if you require a road closing for a few hours, there shouldn't be the need for too much form filling.
Risk assessments and event licences should not be needed providing your street party is held solely for residents and neighbours, isn't too big, there is no amplified music and no alcohol is being sold - which may require you to apply for a Temporary Events Notice.
Small residents-only parties should not need to take out public liability insurance either. And while there are some local authorities who may ask for it as a condition of granting a traffic regulation order, it is widely felt that the risk from street parties is low as residents are outside their own homes and the activities taking place are most likely very low-key. The best advice would be to check with your local council what they may require when you inquire about your road closure.
If your street party is instead a few friends and neighbours getting together with table and chairs and all bringing their own picnics or lunch and refreshments to enjoy together then things should be relatively straightforward and seeking permission for and notifying officials about your intended road closure is the only application you will ideally need to make.
To read more about insurance and public liability cover click here.
For further help....
There is ample information available this year to help communities organise street parties to mark The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
You can read the national government guidance about organising your event here while the Street Party website is also full of information, advice and details about the sorts of things that will need considering in putting your party together.
Keep an eye on KCC's website too for the form which will help people get their events in the county off the ground once it is published.
And don't forget to tell the Royal Family about your event aswell! An interactive map has been launched on The Queen's official Platinum Jubilee website to plot the hundreds and thousands of events that it is hoped will be organised across the first weekend in June.