Call to drum up Norwich community spirit for the Royal wedding
A rallying cry was today issued to the people of Norwich to drum up some community spirit for the Royal wedding.
Plans for street parties and other events are already under way in some parts of the city, but community leaders - and the Evening News - are urging more people to get involved and celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.
Norfolk County Council has already reduced the cost of road closure to �29.04, to reflect the date of the wedding, and district councils say they will help people wanting to organise a party to plan their event safely.
Community amenities like local pubs are also being urged to use the extra bank holiday and festive mood to boost trade.
Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council said: 'We are keen that people take every opportunity to enjoy themselves and take part in their community and the royal wedding is a good opportunity to do that and I hope people will take advantage of the bank holiday and use it as a chance to have a bit of fun.'
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Tim Williams, editor of the Evening News, said: 'Whether you live on a small Norwich street or in a bustling local parish, the royal wedding is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbours, see friends and family and take part in a community event. If there isn't something already organised near you yet, why not organise something yourself?
'The extra bank holiday might provide a boost to the Norwich economy and tourism in Norfolk. Local businesses will also be taking the opportunity to put on royal wedding-themed promotions and get the community together in cafes, pubs and other local venues.
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'If a street party isn't your thing, why not 'love your local' on April 29? Norwich is a fabulously community-orientated city and the royal wedding is a great chance to demonstrate it.'
Derrick Murphy, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: 'I think people are looking for an opportunity to celebrate and have a good time. It is unfortunate we are in this period of financial challenge, but it is a chance for people to get together and show spirit and determination.
'I think people will get involved. The nearer we get to it the more people will think it's going to be really great. Prince William is an incredibly popular member of the Royal family and Kate Middleton seems to have gone down really well with people.'
And Simon Woodbridge, leader of Broadland Council, said: 'It will be absolutely lovely if in this difficult time we had a national event that captured the country's imagination and made us all feel better.
'I think the event will cheer us up and if people pick up that sense of opportunity it will be great if we have street parties or parties in village halls.
'I think we will find that people want to come together and watch it on big screens. It will be a very significant national occasion.
He said they also wanted to help communities put on events in a 'safe way'.
'We will make sure people have the appropriate licences should they want to put refreshments on', he said.
'I will be taking the day off to watch the wedding. It is something about these sorts of events that are immensely British. It will be good for national morale.'
The British Beer and Pub Association is also urging pubs and breweries to get involved in the wedding celebrations.
Gareth Barrett, public affairs manager at the association, said: 'It is a national celebration and the pub is a great place to celebrate it.'
There were 147 royal brews for Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding in 1981.
'We are having an explosion in micro brewing at the moment. It will be an excellent opportunity to be part of the celebration again. We hope people will take it up.'
He said that as a pub is a community place it was a great place to celebrate a community event. 'The Royal wedding is something that we are backing fully'
He added that the extra bank holiday and the growing numbers of 'staycations' were a real opportunity for pubs.
'It is an opportunity for the whole county to be part of William and Kate's wedding reception.'
Patrick Cutter, landlord of The Bull pub in Hellesdon, said he was planning to show the wedding on big screens and encourage people to dress up. He is also hoping to hold a hog roast in the evening.
'We have tried to make it as novel as possible. I like to think that people will make the effort.
'From a business point of view it's an opportunity for me to get people off their backsides.'
• Are you holding an event for the royal wedding? Contact reporter Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772426 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org