Gathering stories of street party tradition in Bristol
Streets Alive is finding out how this tradition developed.
Many people think street parties are brilliant and Streets Alive is recording memories of street parties of old and how they linger enough to encourage people to continue to hold them today.
We are doing this in Bristol because it is the UK’s street party capital with over 100 being held each year. The project is funded by a grant of £24,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Residents might have had one for the coronation in 1953, the Silver Jubilee in 1977, the millennium or more recently for the royal wedding. See our street party history here.
Streets Alive has been promoting these great community-building events for over 10 years and encouraging them to be held anytime, including as more informal street meets without closing roads.
Chris Gittins, Project Coordinator said;
“We are gathering the story of how this great tradition has grown as it seems to be unique to the UK. Our research shows that they started in 1919 as children’s ‘peace teas’ after the 1st war and have been held for every national occasion since. We also want to know if people have any memorabilia and what this means for your street and community.”
The stories will be shared across the city and the whole country as part of the Our Streets project which will create exhibitions on the street party tradition in Bristol as an exampled for the country, and work with centres such as M Shed to help preserve the materials collected during the project.
Commenting on the grant award, HLF’s Head of South West, Nerys Watts, said: “The recent celebrations to mark the Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen’s accession and coronation have reminded us again of the public’s wish to highlight such national occasions in an enjoyable and memorable way, but street parties can also celebrate important local events and anniversaries. We are delighted to be supporting Streets Alive in their work to explore this unique tradition and to help a wider audience to understand and appreciate it.”