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Florence Cole as a child

Celebrating Peace after
World War One: the street party

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The First World War ended in 1918, formally on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

The celebrations, though, went on for a long time afterwards, and the street parties were no exception. A lot of preparation went into them and every street seemed to have one.

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The Lopen Road Street Peace party

Our street peace party was in Lopen Road in Edmonton (now Enfield) where I lived at number 116 with my parents and two brothers, Ted and Jim.

Money for the party was collected from door to door; games were organised and the street was decorated with bunting. Our mothers prepared the food, and fancy dresses were made.

Our street party didn't happen until the following year, in August 1919.

Some streets had their teas on tables brought into the road itself, but we had ours in the church hall of the local church, St Aldhelms. Afterwards, we came back to Lopen Road with its bunting and had fun and games. Whole families joined in. My friend's father who was a professional singer had a small harmonium which he brought out, and we sang to that. I was dressed in the colours of the Belgium flag; Ted was dressed as an Indian; Jim as a laundry woman; and his friend as a policeman. The fancy dresses were not elaborate because so little money was available, but a lot of creative ideas went into them.

Children's Peace Celebrations in 1919, Lopen Road, Edmonton, north London

Peace Celebrations in 1919, near neighbours, Lopen Road, Edmonton, north London.

ww1 peace street party, thumbnail

Lopen Road, Edmonton, Street Peace party, 1919.

There is a large, detailed version of this photo on a separate page.

According to Cliff Raven the building in the background of the right-hand photo used to be a school and is shown as such on the 1894 Ordinance Survey map of the area. The building is now used as one of the church halls for St Aldhelms church, built in 1904.

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The Sheldon Road street peace party

The war was over and I was nearly seven years old. Armistice Day was a day to remember. There was a row of bonfires down the centre of Sheldon Road where I lived in Edmonton. People came from everywhere and danced in the street.

Quoted from the written recollections of Alfred William de Grussa (known as Fred) born January 1912, and provided by his granddaughter Carolyn Middleton

If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Pat Cryer, webmaster