29 September 2012: Islington neighbours gathered together for a street party thanks to a Newcastle City Council Place Making Grant. Watson Street households, participating in the Transition Streets Challenge, arranged to close off their street to allow a bunting adorned marque to be set up with neighbours from surrounding streets bringing along tables and chairs for the event.
Children enjoyed riding scooters and bikes and drew chalk pictures of food on the closed road. They also potted seedlings so that each household had edible plants to take home with them at the end of the party. It was a bring a plate affair, with around 50 local residents sharing the barbeque along with potato röstis, homemade labna, backyard grown spring tea, salads and cakes.
The households from the Transition Streets Challenge contributed meals using locally produced food to highlight diverse sources of food with low food miles and a subsequently lower ecological footprint. Information was provided to everyone, about food sources in and near to Islington such as household gardens, Earths Garden Organic Shop and Café, Islington Park and Fig Tree Community Gardens, Islington School Garden, Beanstalk Organic Food and of course Newcastle Farmers Market which incudes Nourishing Newcastle Urban Tucker Stall (NNUTS) selling excess backyard produce.
Islington even has it own band. Vocalotion provided music for the street party, mixing it up with both original songs and covers. As the sun set, the fairy lights twinkled on the marque and the children played with glow sticks. Grit Kaeding, coordinator of Watson Street Transition Streets Challenge, described the atmosphere of the street party as a cosy friendly celebration of the community and something they would like to repeat.