Rain makes Hedge End’s street party perfect

Hedge End's Village Hall ready for the party

Rain failed to dampen the party spirit in Hedge End today, as the Town Council’s Street Party adjourned to the nearby Village Hall.

Traditional British summer weather, pouring rain, meant that the party could not be held outdoors in the car park of the 2000 Centre as had been intended, but the possibility of bad weather had been considered by the Town Council and their contingency of moving the party into the Village Hall was swiftly implemented.

In true British spirit, there was no detailed plan. The organisers and helpers got stuck into the job of setting out and decorating the Hall and doing the necessary catering. It all came together remarkably well.

Once all the decorations were up, it was generally agreed that the Village Hall, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary earlier this year, looked fabulous. The decorations combined with the original features around the stage and the lighting to create a mood that was reminiscent of the early years of the Queens reign. The Jubilee party in the Village Hall was better than a Street party. The rain had done Hedge End a favour.

Speaking to Eastleigh News, Cllr Welsh said;

Having seen how the Hall looks, I’m really glad we’ve moved inside.

By now, the idea of chicken nuggets & chips for the children, which had been mentioned at the last Community & Culture meeting, had wisely been dropped in favour of sandwiches and more traditional party food. Noel Kavanagh Jr, owner of the recently refurbished Budgens supermarket in Hedge End, had generously donated  300 cakes for the party.  Cllr Welsh was also seen to head off to the shops at the last minute [hopefully to Budgens!], to get some sausage rolls and other last minute essentials…

Cllr Bloom, leader of Hedge End Town Council, busy with the catering

The biggest concern, expressed by an anxious Cllr Welsh, was whether anybody would turn up given the bad weather. Would they drive past the car-park see nothing happening and go somewhere else…?

But she needn’t have worried. With Eastleigh News helping to marshall the guests arriving in the car-park, approximately 100 Hedge Enders arrived at 3pm and all seemed to enjoy the party. 

After the food, the children were each given a Jubilee Mug. Adults were given a key ring with a detachable token bearing the Diamond Jubilee logo which can be used in supermarket trolleys [at Budgens perhaps..?]

Entertainment included face-painting and party games for the children and an excellent Royal-themed quiz for the adults.

The party in full swing with Cllr Welsh serving Tea

Apologies and best wishes for a great party were received from Chris Huhne MP and The Mayor of Eastleigh, Cllr Rupert Kyrle, who were busy at other events today and unable to attend Hedge End’s party.

In total, seven of Hedge Ends Town Councillors were actively involved in the catering, serving and entertaining, all giving up their time voluntarily. These were Cllr’s Louise and Caitlin Bloom, Cllr Jane Welsh, Cllr Cynthia Garton, Cllr Helen Corben, Cllr Sheila Baynes & Cllr Stan Sthankiya.

They were aided by ten members of the public.

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site. 

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  15 comments for “Rain makes Hedge End’s street party perfect

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    June 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Hall looks fab..could probably earn a couple of bob hiring it out to film crews in search authentic 50s locations!

  2. Joan Pugh
    June 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    First time I’ve know Hedge End council do anything vaguely pro-active and I’ve lived here a long time. However, there appears to be more residents helping than councillors as usual.

  3. J Butler
    June 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Have Hedge End Council seen the write up on Botley and what their Councillors managed to acheive? Their event was fully inclusive and encouraged many residents to take part despite the weather. (See photos). Couldn’t Hedge End Town Council come up with something along those lines instead of a pathetically small event for the chosen few? I understand that HE Council is much bigger than Botleys.

    By the way – I hope Hedge End Council are planning to give a Jubilee mug to every child registered as living in the Ward (like Botley) in the interest of fairness of course.

  4. June 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Thank you both (Joan Pugh and J Butler) for some great comments.

    I agree that Hedge End’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations were low-key compared to Botley’s and that many residents will have found that disappointing.

    The streeet party was great, but looking at the bigger picture, the limited celebrations haven’t reflected too well on Hedge End.

    The Town Council need to debate why this happened and work out how to do better next time.

  5. Louise Bloom
    June 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks for the mostly positive write up Ray and to clarify, the event went as planned and whilst we will have a wash-up discussion, I felt it all reflected well on Hedge End. Thanks for your help and just to note, the 10 residents who helped were mainly family members of councillors but we are extemely grateful to them all. The event was open to all Hedge End residents, advertised in the Gazette,on the notice boards, at the library, in shops and via the primary schools. HETC subsidy of £450 was we felt about right given these times of austerity. Everyone had a wonderful time, indeed perfect as you say.

    • June 8, 2012 at 12:39 am

      Thanks Louise. It was a great afternoon and Hedge End’s street party was undoubtedly a success. It did reflect well on Hedge End.

      But if we step back and think of the Diamond Jubilee as a whole, Hedge End’s effort does look weak compared to what happened elsewhere in the Borough, particularly just down the road in Botley.

      I think that bigger picture needs to be considered in the wash-up. We need to think about the Diamond Jubilee planning/celebrations as a whole, not just the one succesful street party.

  6. William Windsor
    June 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Well, ‘she would say that wouldn’t she’. The fact is the Council opted for an event that would cause them the least possible work and involve only a few people. Why is Cllr Bloom going on about where the event was advertised? Again the fact was it was only open to the first few people who applied not to all Hedge End residents. There were SOLD OUT notices after the small allocated number had gone. (How many was it by the way?)

    It is plainly disturbing when a Councillor reflects that her own event was perfect. Obviously no room for improvement there. How smug is that? It was far from perfect more like pathetic. It was the Diamond Jubilee for God’s sake not Aunty Maud’s 90th birthday party. Get real Hedge End Councillors.

  7. June 10, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Why not come along to the wash-up session Will..?

    There’ll be plenty of room. I’m usually the only member of the public at the C&C meetings. The two of us sat in the public gallery would make a great photo for Eastleigh News. I’m sure HETC would like a photo for the Gazette too…!

    There were 100 tickets available for this event and they were genuinely available to everybody in Hedge end, but it was first come first served. Hedge Enders really must keep an eye on the HETC website to see these events announced, read the Gazette and look out for posters in shop windows. Its always a good idea to read Eastleigh News, as it was mentioned here too.

    I remember sitting in the public gallery at a C&C meeting a couple of months ago thinking that even the Street Party isn’t going to happen.

    My observation was that the four members of C&C who were present that evening seemed daunted by the scale of the task, it was a big job for a handful of a people, but Cllr Welsh (who is on the Village Hall Management Committee and has easy access to tables/chairs/kitchens etc) got involved and saved the day.

    The fundamental problem is that HETC has structured itself unwisely. With one or two notable exceptions the Councillors who are not on C&C didn’t seem to want to do anything to help. They seem to take the view that as they’re not on C&C its not their problem, particularly if they are “Republican”. Its not their problem, its for C&C to sort out.

    I also noticed that the two Councillors who have recently been elected to HETC, both wanted to serve on Highways and Planning. That means they can sit back and pontificate over planning applications and don’t have to do much outside the routine meetings! They’re not daft…!

    Anyway, with that attitude in the Town Council I’m afraid there was no chance of sufficient momentum being generated to put on a show like Botley’s…!

    It possibly doesn’t help that the Carnival Committee and St Georges Fest are concentrating on their own pet projects and aren’t integrated into one big pool of volunteers serving Hedge End.

    In my opinion, if C&C had a decent pool of reliable volunteers that it could call on for help, some willng members of the public as well as the more able bodied Councillors, I’m sure that the C&C Councillors would feel that they were much better placed to do things and a lot more would have happened over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

    Well that’s my analysis of the problem in Hedge End, for what it is worth. I hope that the wash-up session doesn’t just concentrate on whether we’d bought enough bunting for the street party, as there are bigger issues behind Hedge End’s limited Diamond Jubilee celebrations…

    • June 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      After my last comment, this clip sprung to mind, particularly the last 15 seconds or so.

      httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy9QeosTh7w

      Think of the sheep as being Town Councillors (or vice-versa if you like), with me instead of Wallace perched on top of the ladder…

  8. June 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

    The St George Fest committee approached the chair of the C&C committee when it was first formed in 2011 suggesting more cooperation between the two organisations and inviting C&C to send a representative to the St George Fest committee meetings, but C&C showed no interest in working together.

    • June 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks Keith. That’s interesting

  9. June 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Interested to read all the comments on the Hedge End Jubilee Party including the not-so-favourable.

    Where are more volunteers? Hedge End has about 21,000 residents and practically all events are organised by a pool of, probably, well under 100 people. Let’s see some community spirit and more volunteers. Remember Hedge End Councillors are volunteers too.

    • June 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks for a great comment Sheila.

      We encourage readers to say what they think in the comments. So long as it is civilised, they are all valuable comments. Even the ones that are not so favourable, as they are an indication of points of view that are genuinely held in the local community.

      I completely agree about the need for more volunteers. I’d like C&C to establish a pool of volunteers that could be called upon when these “Hedge End” events occur. I think it is essential actually.

      Would be brilliant if the C&C could facilitate and fund the ideas for events in Hedge End and (although great to see Councillors involved)leave a lot of the practical organisation to the volunteers, esp where the volunteers have the flair for that sort of thing.

      • D Morris
        June 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        Wont happen because the Council are more interested in stopping things happening rather than pro-actively supporting creative, original events. People with ideas and energy shows the Council up in a rather bad, inactive light.

        • June 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm

          Thanks D Morris. I’m aware of certain things that have happened in Hedge End previously which support what you say in your comment.

          But what has happened in the past is not necessarily what has to happen in the future.

          If C&C can get into the “fund & facilitate” mindset, I think we’ll be headed in a much better direction…

Comments are closed.