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7:50am Thursday 7th June 2012 in Leader
Long after the last embers of the beacons have faded, memories of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend will burn brightly in the memories of Oxfordshire residents.
People in towns and villages across the county threw themselves wholeheartedly into the celebrations.
Some of the events were large-scale and costly, but perhaps the most memorable were the much simpler affairs organised between neighbours.
Abingdon Town Council’s £50,000 investment in Jubilee celebrations paid off with a series of well-attended events including those in Abbey Meadows.
Even torrential rain on Sunday evening could not dampen the spirits of thousands of residents who turned out to see town councillors and Man Lab and Top Gear television presenter James May hurl and fire buns into the Market Place.
Some families attending street parties arrived home very wet, but the preparations to pay tribute to the Queen were well worth it and will undoubtedly help build community spirit.
Away from the set-piece events, it was the smaller gatherings in the streets, or even just parts of streets, that might prove to have the longest lasting benefits.
Neighbours, some of whom had not spoken, were brought together; something that can only help improve community life.
Now we have seen how gathering together can help build bonds, it is important not to wait years before doing it again.