Right royal parties galore on the way

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RESIDENTS of south east Northumberland are bringing out the bunting as they prepare to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

Hundreds of people from across the county are expected to hold street parties and other royal-themed events this weekend to mark Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne.

Among those getting ready to party are pupils at Stakeford First School in Choppington.

The youngsters will take part in a tree-planting event as well as burying a time capsule tomorrow.

A picnic for parents and friends will also be held on the school field.

Headteacher Julie Hall said: “Children and staff are very excited to be part of such a momentous occasion which they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

A newly-formed jubilee tea group in Ashington will open its doors for the first time on Sunday.

The group, based at the Parkhead Centre in Park Road, will welcome the elderly and those experiencing health problems or isolation to enjoy a friendly get-together.

Guests will be able to enjoy tea, refreshments and entertainment for £1.50 each.

Run by volunteers from St Aidan’s Church in Ashington, the group will go on to meet every Sunday from 3pm to 5pm.

Father Stephen Watson, of St Aidan’s Church, said: “It has been wonderful to watch this incredible project unfold so quickly.

“In a matter of weeks, the jubilee tea group had grown from an idea to a well-organised, well-supported and much-needed asset to our local community.

“I would like to thank St Cuthbert’s Care for inspiring us to make a start and for the generosity of the volunteers for the time they are giving.”

Also taking part in the bank holiday celebrations are residents at Hartley Court sheltered accommodation scheme in New Hartley.

They will be joined on Tuesday by residents of the nearby Hester bungalows and the aged miners’ cottages for a game of bingo, quiz and buffet.

Hartley Court received a £150 donation from Seaton Valley Council to fund the event, organised by the New Hartley Craft Group.

Jean Lazenby, chairman of the craft group, said: “When we saw this money was available, we applied because we felt it would be a lovely idea to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee with the older residents of the village.

“It was very kind of Seaton Valley Council to donate this money, and hopefully it will be a great day celebrating the reign of our Queen.”

A special jubilee gala will take to the streets of Seghill on Saturday, with the parade setting off from Deneside Estate at 12.45pm.

Seaton Valley Council also donated £200 to elderly residents in Burnside Close and Burnside View, Seghill, to help pay for a street party on Monday, from 1pm until 4pm.

A further £300 was handed over for a village picnic which will take place at Seghill’s Welfare Fields on Monday.

Blyth Riverside Resource Centre, in Coniston Road, will be hosting a street party and barbecue on Friday.

The event, from noon until 2.30pm, will include live entertainment and prizes for the best decorated hat and tie.