My Great Little Ideas Street Party

In the last month or so, winning creative competitions has resulted in me meeting both Raymond Blanc and Myleene Klass. Never mind the celebrities though… my most recent win meant I finally got to meet my neighbours!

Last Wednesday I got a WEM (Winning E Mail) from Great Little Ideas to let me know I was their fourth and final winner of the Great British Street Party competition, where you had to create a British themed snack using one of the Great Little Ideas brands (Hartleys, OXO, Homepride, Sharwoods, Batchelors… and LOADS more!). I’d already read about previous winner Christine’s party, and last month’s winner Anne Marie featured on this month’s Compers News letters page! This month I won with my patriotic puff pizzas – made using Loyd Grossman tomato and basil sauce.

We only had a few days to organise party guests – lots of my friends with children were on holiday and the main problem with Nazareth Road is that no families live here! The townhouses and flats are rented homes to students and young doctors – who usually only stay around for one academic year. As a result I know very few of my neighbours beyond the girls at number 41 and the boys at number 43. But I love living here – it’s close to Nottingham city centre, and walking distance from some wonderful parks. We have gorgeous trees, birds, butterflies and sunshine: a great location for a street party!

When the bus arrived on Sunday lunchtime, Ryland and I decided to take a tour of the street, knocking on all the doors to invite people to the party, while Rob collated a party playlist on the iPod (Duran Duran, Petula Clark and The Rapture, anyone?). We met people from all over the world – America, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China, Spain, France, Poland… it seems the lure of free scotch eggs and sausage rolls is global! With the classic student Sunday hangover, they eagerly drank orange squash and strong tea… one girl from number 44 told me how excited she was to be at her first ever street party! The Alexander Residence gang paid us a visit too, and plenty of friends popped in to say hello.

The Hoopla game was a massive success. Once the toddlers got tired of it there was a steady queue of students waiting to take part. They looked hugely excited about their wins of Pasta Bake and OXO cubes – the couple from number 1 got enough jars for a week’s meals…

I was presented with my own hamper of goodies and all the kids got a goodie bag and as many pointy hats as they could attach to themselves. It was loads of fun, and when one of the neighbours brought out his cute dog it kept us entertained for ages watching four 2 year olds chasing it round a tree!

Thanks so much to Great Little Ideas for organising this. It meant a lot to my family and all the people on my street, who have never had the chance to introduce themselves to the neighbours. Now we smile and wave when we meet at the bin sheds.. magic!

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