From village fetes to city carnivals, and sports parades to May Day celebrations, community get-togethers and street parties aren’t new to the UK. We have a long tradition of celebrating with our neighbours.
Historically we can date street parties as far back as Halloween in 1000BC which was the Old Celtic New Year and—in more recent history—royal celebrations like Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 and the Royal Wedding Street Parties celebrating the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton.
Whether it’s Live Aid, Guy Fawkes Night, Notting Hill Carnival or Hogmanay communities across the UK have always enjoyed a good knees up with their neighbours. As we enter our fourth year, The Big Lunch is establishing itself as part of this tradition and as a part of history.
Why not stage a historical street party for your Big Lunch – you could re-enact 1945’s VE Day street parties or theme your lunch around the World Cup Final parade in 1966.
Get some ideas from this wonderful film of Silver Jubilee Street Parties
Whether you’re planning tea and cakes for two or a massive street party, every Big Lunch is significant.
Join in and join history in the making!
For more street party history. Check out some exmaples from our friends at Historypin
The Christmas season is truly in full swing in The Big Lunch office here at the Eden Project – with all kinds of creativity inspiring us for our lunches next year! Not only has the winter wonderland themed ice skating rink returned onsite to offer hours of fun, but a number of workshops and demonstrations are scheduled over the next couple of months which are a fantastic excuse to perfect those hidden talents or learn new ones.
Following its success last Christmas, the Hive has returned; a series of events and workshops onsite at Eden; including gingerbread making, stocking sewing and gift plant growing. There are also demonstrations from top bakers and local artists sharing their skills and top tips to get the creative juices flowing.
All this fab festive spirit got The Big Lunch team thinking. The making and baking doesn’t have to stop when Christmas is over; why not use all these great ideas to get prepared for our lunches in 2012? There are lots of recipes and ideas at this time of year that would be perfect for getting together with neighbours and trying out. It may be a delicious cake recipe which could be adapted to a summer treat, or some sewing skills which could turn into a bunting triumph. Even the games and entertainment ideas we collect for Boxing Day could be reused and reinvented for Big Lunch activities!
Do you have any ideas, tips or advice you could share? We are currently working on new content to update our website pages with more recipes, games and growing ideas to help get you prepared for your Big Lunch. If you have any tips which you have found helpful, or want to share stories of what you did to make your Big Lunch special email email@example.com
To find out the latest programme information for the Hive visit the Eden Project website www.edenproject.com or call 01726 811988 for more details
The Big Lunch is delighted to be part of the nationwide celebration being held to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next summer when the fourth annual Big Lunch falls on the same weekend as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. So anyone who would like to celebrate and commemorate the Queen’s 60 year reign can do so by holding a Big Jubilee Lunch!
Some 10 million people came out in sunny 1977 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee so we hope a large number of people will take part in The Big Lunch for the first time in 2012 – joining the well over a million of us that have been doing it for the last 3 years!
If you were one of the many people who organised your own Coronation, Silver or Golden Jubilee street party, we would love to hear from you! We’d love to hear how you got your street involved and how the day went? What food did you prepare and what was the best part of the day? Have you any pictures?
Perhaps a neighbour or a relative had a Coronation street party or Jubilee get-together—this may even be your first Jubilee!
If you have any Jubilee stories you would like to share please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 850 8181 to speak to one of the team.
The Big Lunch London office are now on the search for bright and enthusiastic volunteer interns.
Based in the bright and colourful Big Lunch London office we share with our PR agency in Oxford Circus the internship will be flexible, however we hope to find individuals who are able to join the team for two or three days a week until the end of March 2012.
Interns will gain invaluable experience of working on a national community led campaign and will gain first hand experience of tailoring communications for different audiences. Specific responsibilities will include liaising with Councils and Housing Associations to encourage promotion of and support for The Big Lunch to their staff, stakeholders and communities. Interns will be given their induction at the Eden Project towards end of January.
Interns will also be required to:
· Respond to enquiries from the general public
· Provide administrative support
· Promote The Big Lunch at events
· Contribute to the blog and social media as required
We are looking for someone who:
· Is available to work from 9th January 2012
· Is interested in The Big Lunch as a community led initiative
· Highly organised with the ability to work independently
· Is confident on the phone and in person
· Has excellent written and spoken English
· Has excellent MS Office skills and experience in using databases
· Is persuasive but tactful
· Has an interest in and flair for marketing and communications
· Is proactive and enterprising
· Can engage with not-for-profit organisations and community groups across the UK
This is a superb opportunity for someone interested in gaining marketing and communications experience within the charity sector. We are offering an opportunity to become part of a small, friendly team who are delivering an exciting and worthwhile national initiative.
Please state when you are available to work in your application.
To apply, please email your CV and covering letter to email@example.com or call 020 7255 6468
Closing date: Thursday 8th December.
Interviews will be held the week beginning 19th December.
We regret that we will only be able to respond to shortlisted applicants.
During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces around the world. The aim is to raise vital funds and awareness for prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.
On Movember 1st, guys register at Movember.com with a clean-shave face and then for the rest of the month, these selfless, generous souls, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Mo Sistas are the women who register to support the men in their lives, raising funds by seeking sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.
Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.
At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valor by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Partés held around the world by Movember, for Movember.
Good Luck to all our Big Lunch Mo Bros & Sistas out there.
Just share your link if you are participating http://uk.movember.com/donate/
The Big Lunch is only in its fourth year but already its human-warming effect is spreading! Big Lunches haven taken place in Turkey, France, the USA and Australia to name but a few. We think it’s great that communities far and wide recognise the importance of community spirit and getting to know your neighbours.
One of our international Big Lunches has even made it onto Australian Sky News. The Mosman Big Lunch was such a success that the organisers are already planning next year’s event which will be held in the Botanic Gardens as part of the Sydney food festival known as Crave.
If you have relatives or friends living abroad why get them to have a Big Lunch on their street. A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic. A record number of people are expected to take part in 2012, join in by holding a Big Jubilee Lunch on or around Sunday 3rd June 2012. Lets make it a spectacular international Big Lunch this year!
I’m the newest recruit to The Big Lunch team, and I just wanted to say ‘hello’. I thought it might be nice to share some of my own recollections of community events from when I was wee. I’m based up in Scotland, where our winter days are shorter, but our summer ones longer, so celebration is very important.
I come from the South-West, and the biggie there in the summer was the gala. Most of the towns and villages had their gala week, which were very much like a fete, and often included the crowning of a Gala Queen. These happened traditionally in the mining villages in May, for the one-day Miner’s Holiday, much like the ‘Fair Friday’ held in July for Glasgow’s factory workers. I remember in the 80’s, they were full of family sports , races, and prizes for produce and crafts where competition was stiff for the under 12’s. Across the village, wee ones would be preparing peppermint creams, tablet and fairy cakes with Mum, batch after batch until we were happy.
I’m a bit young to remember it, but an autumnal favourite (or not!) was tattie-howkin’. You got a week off school – but the down-side? You spent it in a field, knee deep in potatoes and cameraderie. October break in some areas is still referred to as Tattie-pickin’ week. I have to reassert – we don’t do this to our children now!
For me though, the most obvious Scottish social tradition is the Ceilidh. I’d guess if you know about these at all you’d imagine a Celtic take on a barn dance, and that’s very much how they go nowadays. Lots of traditional music, but they’re anything but staid. If you’re invited to a ceilidh, take a comfy pair of shoes – with music skirling, you’re likely to be whirled about about like never before!
Originally they were the places that people went to share any kind of culture and social interaction. At a ceilidh in the more northern parts of Scotland you’ll still find a tradition rich with storytelling, poetry recitals, gossip sharing and the general merriness that goes along with people coming together to share culture and news. These are the kinds of gatherings that get us through the winter when it’s dreich outside and raining sideyways.
I’m hoping The Big Lunch in Scotland can tap into and revive some of this. I know we’re social people, and we can walk the fine line between a wee gathering and a stramash so that fun’s had by all, and we make those connections that used to keep our communities close. I’ve seen it happen before.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to know about holding a Big Lunch in Scotland or bring back some Scottish traditions – firstname.lastname@example.org
Wee – small, young
Dreich – grey, raining, misty, wet
Tattie-howkin’ – Potato picking
Skirling – making a shrill noise , like that of bagpipes. :)
Stramash – uproar
Tablet – a Scottish confection of sugar, condensed milk and butter. Mmm…
This blog is written by The Big Lunch guest writer Lucy Pearce, one of our Big Lunch Champions.
I have always hated the idea of living on a housing estate. Too many neighbours, too close for comfort, identikit houses, and not our sort of people. No siree, not for me. And certainly not for my kids. They need a vast lawn, and a wood and meadows to run wild in. Perhaps a pony! Certainly an acre of organic veggie garden. And mama needs her own private glade for naked moonlight dancing and other mad notions! But reality and finances mean that in order to live where we want to live, we needed to live on an estate.
And you know what? I am so glad we do!
If only for one reason (though in reality there are many!). It is perfect for the kids. We live at the end of a loop-the-loop cul-de-sac, and so our children have a veritable runway of tarmac all to themselves, with a massive patch of grass besides.
So, rather than me driving here, there and everywhere arranging play dates and after school activities, they head out the back door and there they have friends. A pack of them to run about with. They range from 18 months to 10 and all take part according to their ability. They play on bikes and trikes, skate boards and push along tractors. They play catch, draw in chalk on the pavement, collect caterpillar and grasshoppers, create elaborate mausoleums for deceased rodents which could rival the Taj Mahal and invent endless espionage games which usually end in tears. There is a lot of water play too, which always seems to take place in our garden – it seems that mud, gravel, stones and a hose can provide hours of illicit fun!
I feel so good knowing that they are out there creating their own little community of neighbours, another generation of connections being made. But where we mums and dads make it over cups of coffee and borrowed sugar, they make theirs over ice lollies and worms.
If you are interested in making this happen in your own neighbourhood, I have just discovered a new initiative www.playingout.net which aims to promote and support kids playing outside together, helping communities to create safe spaces within their neighbourhoods for free play. Do check out this innovative website – even if just to revel in the pavement painting design.
The Big Lunch brings all ages out and following Big Lunches there are so many stories of friendships that were formed on the day, the childrens stories are just as important, infact its often their enthusiasm that spurs us on to do it again and again.
So let’s help our children play outside together and check out the winter edition of JUNO magazine for an interview with Tim Gill about supporting children and outside play.
Lucy has her own blog which you may follow at http://www.dreamingaloud.net/
For ideas on how you can involve children in your Big lunch visit http://www.thebiglunch.com/ideas/
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month people all over the world remember the members of their armed forces who have fallen since the beginning of World War I
On this date in 1918 World War I officially ended with the German signing of the Armistice.
Since 2004 over 50,000 people have made commemorative trips with funding from BIG’s Heroes Return schemes with grants totalling over £24 million.
The Heroes Return 2 programme is still open for applications until 31 January 2012 and Big Lunchers may know someone locally who with this help could make a remeberance trip they might not otherwise achieve.
Second World War veterans from the UK, Channel Islands and Republic of Ireland can apply for grants to cover travel and accommodation expenses enabling them to make trips back to places across the world where they served. They can also receive funding to take part in an official commemoration in the UK.
Since 2004 over 50,000 people have made commemorative trips with funding from BIG’s Heroes Return schemes with grants totalling over £24 million.
Veterans who fought with or alongside British forces in World War 2 and who are resident in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. War widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible for funding, and carers and spouses can receive funding to travel with veterans.
Tell people in your community about The Heroes Return 2 programme.Just visit http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_heroes_return to find out more.
Tomorrow is Bonfire Night, so why not knock on your neighbours’ doors for a seasonal gathering of mulled cider, sparklers, fireworks and chatter! Lots of Big Lunchers already have plans to get together with their neighbours and you could too.
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
An Autumnal Big Lunch—why not?
We see no reason
Why The Big Lunch season
Should ever be forgot!
You may also want to put on an Autumnal BBQ, here are a few of our recipe suggestions.
And for the kids there are plenty of quick game ideas here.
If you’re concerned about your pets during the firework season here’s some advice from our friends at RSPCA!
We hope you have a lovely weekend and remember to play safe!