What a weekend - South Tyneside wraps up four days of Platinum Jubilee celebrations

South Tyneside wrapped up an extended weekend of celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in right royal style.

Parties to celebrate seven decades of Her Majesty’s rule have been held across the borough over the course of the four-day Bank Holiday weekend.

Dozens of residents enjoyed an afternoon of fun activities in Orchid Gardens in South Shields today, Sunday, June 5, courtesy of a group of four friends.

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Sarah Calder, Clare Watson, Tangwyn Watkins and Melanie Losbey organised a party for the whole estate, including a DJ, bouncy castle, karaoke, bingo, games and competitions and face painting, as well as raising funds for a good cause very close to the Royal Family’s hearts.

"We had street parties through the coronavirus pandemic to keep people's spirits up, so when we heard it was the Jubilee, we just had to do the same,” said Sarah.

"We were lucky enough to be given a £400 donation from Karbon Homes, who are our landlords, and we have had lots of support from the community.

"Nearly all the local businesses around The Nook have given us prizes for a raffle to raise funds for the Prince’s Trust and we have raised more than £100, so we want to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped,

One person who was in great demand over the weekend was the Big Pink Dress man himself, Colin Burgin-Plews.

Residents enjoy the Jubilee street party in Orchid Gardens

The South Tyneside fund-raiser had knocked up a tasteful little Union Jack number, complete with wig and crown, and found himself invited to events across the borough throughout the weekend.

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"It was a bit of a last-minute thing,” said Colin.

"I was working at Harton Village kindergarten and they were doing a Jubilee event for the kids, so they asked If I could run something up, so I did, and then people kept inviting me to wear it in different places."

The new look was substantially lighter than the dresses Colin normally wears when he takes part in events such as the Great North Run.

Eight-year-old Blossom Watkins was Queen for the day in Orchid Gardens
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"It was actually made out of an old quilt cover – that’s all it was, so it was as light as a feather and it was fantastic.

"And the crown was made out of foam, so I was quite happy to wear the whole thing all weekend.”

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