The Day We Closed Our Road to Traffic


the big lunch the big lunch

We live on a relatively quiet road.  Few of the houses have space for garages or driveways, just small front gardens.  So most of the time there are cars parked on both sides of the road.  Consequently, as with many roads, the only time the children can play outside is when they dash up and down the pavement on their scooters.

My childhood street play was very different as I lived in a cul de sac with a large rectangle of  road creating perfect playground.  No parked cars as they were all on driveways.  I have often reflected that if we had thought about it a home on a cul de sac would have improved the quality of my son’s life, in terms of outdoor play and socialising with local children.  This Sunday we caught a glimpse of a street without cars and what a difference that could make.

Our road was closed for a couple of hous so that everyone could participate in the Big Lunch.  The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project.  The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have  lunch with their neighbours annually on the first Sunday in June in a simple  act of community, friendship and fun.

 no traffic

 We have a lot of young children living in our road (good local primary schools).  It was just wonderful to see them all out in the road playing.  It was mainly free play with some football, more organised table tennis and this wonderful street drawing in aid of world oceans day

sea creatures

I’m leaving you to imagine the ambience of the street party with about 40/50 adults and children attending.  The food was placed on a large tale ight in the middle of the road so everybody could graze and move about socialising.   I didn’t want to post photos of my neighbours on the internet without their permission, so no photots of them.  But it wasn’t until I returned home and the party was over that I appreciated what an amazing event it had been and decided to blog about it.  It had been the whole street out playing and had worked so well.  Thank you Beate at No 77 for organising it.   There is a great website called Playing Out with loads of ideas to help you make your street a place to play in.

world oceans day

The little boy who drew the whale on the top right was very proud of his creation.  I hope he remembers the day he got to draw on the road.

I am linking up this post with Countrykids at Coombemill and with the Outdoor Play Party.

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11 Responses to The Day We Closed Our Road to Traffic

  1. Coombemill June 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    What a great idea for a community. A perfect way to bring everyone together and lots of fun for the children by the look of things.

    • Lynda June 7, 2014 at 9:59 am #

      It was lovely to meet some of my neighbours & for the children just to run around outside of their own homes

  2. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) June 7, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Can I confess that I dont know my neighbors and this would have been the nicest way to get to know them =) #countrykids

    • Lynda June 7, 2014 at 10:01 am #

      I have to admit I spoke to one neighbour for the fist time & she only lives 6 doors down the road – it was a lovely environnment to have a chat

  3. Kierna June 7, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    What a great idea. Sadly there are probably more cars per household than there were when I was a child, as I have happy memories of being able to play on the street as a child too. Thanks a million for linking up to the OPP.

    • Lynda June 7, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      I think you right the parked cars & the traffic are the key difference for our kids as compared with earlier generations

  4. Coombe Mill - Fiona June 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Such a wonderful event for bringing the community together and making great friends! The children created some lovely craft and art on the road and must have enjoyed having the space for the day right on their doorsteps. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  5. Tina Mansfield June 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    What a great idea, we closed our road for the big lunch the year of the jubilee, I wish we had got the chalks out then!

    • Lynda June 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      The Chalks were an inspired idea by the organiser – wish they were waterproof

  6. Nikki Fraser June 10, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    Looks like great fun. Wish our street did something like this would b great. #countrykids

    • Lynda June 19, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      There is always next year – hope we will be lunching again