Across the region - how we celebrated the Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding celebrations spread to streets, pubs, churches and schools across the Midlands as thousands marked Prince Williams and Kate Middleton's big day with their own festivities.

ROYAL 45 TS 29

Royal Wedding celebrations spread to streets, pubs, churches and schools across the Midlands as thousands marked Prince Williams and Kate Middleton's big day with their own festivities.

Lavinia Thompson celebrated her 39th birthday at the same time as the happy couple sealed their romance - in front of guests dressed in a wedding dress code in their honour.

A dozen brides and scores of bridesmaids revelled in the theme while most men opted for uniform.

Mother-of-two Mrs Thompson, of Suckling Green Lane, Codsall, said: “All my friends have got the day off and I decided to have a ‘Royal Birthday Bash’.

“It seems a lot of my friends harboured the desire to get their wedding dress back on.”

Hundreds of revellers joined in celebrations at the Woodcross Club, in Woodcross Lane, Bilston, which included a fate, fairground rides, slides, an assault course and a zumba class, while dozens of residents at the Hinchcliffe Avenue retirement home in Bilston enjoyed a Royal Wedding party with food and entertainment.

The Moseley Park Table Table restaurant in Wolverhampton put on a special fish and chip lunch for around 20 customers, while revellers in Penn watched the ceremony live at St Bartholomew's Church before heading out for picnics and games on the green outside.

Residents at Bushfield Court Daycare Centre, in Oxford Street, Bilston, dressed up as Kate Middleton, The Queen, Prince William and other members of the Royal Family for a champagne breakfast, while streets in the city, including Church Street in Bilston and Upper Snede Road in Essington, were adorned with bunting and streamers for the celebrations.

Hundreds of school pupils across the region also joined the festivities.

At Perton Sandown Middle School, in Sandown Road, all 205 pupils arrived in their best wedding clothes for a ties and tiaras dressing up day and wedding-themed lunch, while dozens strutted their stuff in a wedding-themed fashion show in front of parents, showcasing dresses, tiaras and waistcoats they have created themselves.

Mrs Liz Threlkeld said: "It is a historic event in their lives."

At Bilston Nursery School Children's Centre, in Wolverhampton Street, pupils recreated their own Royal Wedding with all 120 nursery, child care and creche children dressing as bridesmaids, flower girls, pageboys, while at  Bilston Primary School, in Albany Crescent, children wore red, white and blue to show their support for the happy couple and enjoyed a lunchtime street party.

At Elston Hall Primary School, off Stafford Road, Wolverhampton, pupils took part in a mock royal wedding at St James's Church in Taunton Avenue.

There were traditional street parties, crowds gathered around large television screens and even a Mad Hatters tea party as people in Dudley and Wyre Forest joined in the celebrations.

Ladies from Townswomen's Guild in Sedgley kicked off the festivities with a party which included a special decorated cake which had a message in icing, which said "Congratulations William and Catherine".

Churchgoers in Quarry Bank organised a community celebration at Christ Church in High Street where families flocked to watch the wedding service.

Churchwarden Brian Genner, aged 75, of Maughan Street, said: "There was a very happy atmosphere. We watched the wedding and then tucked into the party food. It was absolutely great."

Shoppers at Dudley's Merry Hill Centre gathered to watch the ceremony live as it was screened in the food court Eat Central while workers decorated stores with bunting and Union Jack flags. Many shops had sold out of royal wedding-themed decorations by last night.

At Dudley Zoo a big screen was erected in the Discovery Centre and youngsters were given the chance to be princes and princesses for the day and given special crowns to commemorate the occasion.

Flag-waving revellers also gathering around a large screen at the Black Country Living Museum. An array of tempting treats were on offer during the a street party buffet and there was a host of entertainment including sing-alongs,craft workshops and face painting for youngster visitors.

Marketing manager Fiona Carding said: "It was wonderful. Visitors really entered into the patriotic spirit of the day and were dressed up in red, white and blue with Union Jacks and tiaras."

Around the Dudley borough residents brought their tables and chairs outside as they enjoyed traditional street parties with their neighbours.

There was a party atmosphere in Kidderminster town centre where shoppers took a break from browsing the stores to watch the wedding. Crowds were kept entertained by  a balloon modeller and magician and a fun fair by the old Woolworths store. There was also a street party in the Swan Centre with a Punch and Judy show and face painting.

Centre spokeswoman Helen Dyke said: "The street party went very well. We had quite a lot of youngsters get Union Jacks painted on their faces. Everybody enjoyed themselves."

Meanwhile in Bewdley, the magic world of Alice in Wonderland was brought to life at a Mad Hatters Tea Party in the Jubilee Gardens. People of all ages flocked to the park, many in fancy dress. The celebrations included a performance by The Bewdley Orchestra.

The flags were out and the bunting was up as Royal Wedding fever hit Sandwell.

The borough had three street parties while the ceremony was also beamed on big screens at venues including West Bromwich arts centre The Public.

Dozens of people enjoyed street parties in Watt Street in Smethwick, Riding Close in West Bromwich and Rowland Hill Drive in Tipton.

Meanwhile, The Bell and Bear Inn in Rowley Regis hosted a party in its beer garden and people from West Bromwich's Lyng estate were invited to watch the action unfold at the good Shepherd Church Hall in Lyttleton Street where a big screen was erected.

They were just some of the events taking place throughout the borough's six towns yesterday.

At Riding Close more than 100 people were enjoying music, bouncy castles, games such as egg and spoon races and an obstacle course and houses were decorated in blue and white bunting.

Organiser Brent Cooper, a 51-year-old BT engineer and father-of-two said: "I thought it was great. It's great to feel part of Britain and feel proud to be British.

"I don't think there's anywhere in the world that puts a party on like the British can. This is something we should be proud of."

Teacher Jo Harmon, a 38-year-old mother-of-two, said: "I thought the wedding was lovely, she looked so beautiful. It made us proud to be British, we could not move away from the television.

"I remember Diana's wedding and this was very similar to that,  they both looked lovely."

Residents at the street party at Rowland Hill Drive in Tipton also enjoyed a bouncy castle, buffet and music, while bunting and pictures of the happy couple decorated the cul-de-sac.

Marketing manager Michele Smith, aged 42. She said: "I thought it was absolutely fabulous, she looked gorgeous and it made me very proud to be British.

The mother-of-one added: "The whole ceremony was very elegant and Kate looked stunning. It's a pity, Diana was not there to see it."

Bus driver Bill Deeming, a father-of-two, 51, added: "It went very nicely, I really enjoyed it. I think the whole event is very special, it is important we celebrate it.

"I will remember it forever."

Roma Thompson, 38, office worker and mother-of-two, said: "I thought the wedding was lovely. She is a lovely girl who looked beautiful.

"He looked very smart as well."

Karen Burns, call centre manager and mother-of-two, added: "I thought it was lovely, I've been crying since 6am. I am very much a Royalist but this is very important in my life.

"I had hoped to go to London to go and watch it but I've been ill, but it's been fabulous."

Walsall was awash with red, white and blue as people celebrated the royal wedding.

Residents piled into the streets to celebrate with neighbours, community centres rolled out the bunting and champagne corks popped as Walsall enjoyed a right royal knees up.

Patriotic neighbours in more than six roads held street parties.

Among them were the residents of Westbourne Street, The Butts, where plans for a big day party had been in the pipeline for months.

Around 200 people took part, while 40 people crammed into the home of organiser Angela Steatham, aged 47, to watch the ceremony.

"It has been quite manic getting it all together on the day but it looked fabulous," she said.

Ms Steatham said all the residents had agreed Kate looked beautiful and elegant.

People could pose as the royal couple by sticking their heads through cut-out holes at a street party in Rectory Avenue, Darlaston.

More than 30 people donned red, white and blue and watched the wedding indoors before coming out of their homes to eat, drink and be merry with their neighbours.

Celebrations got under way with a champagne breakfast at Short Heath Royal British Legion Club, in Church Road.

Around 150 people dressed in red, white and blue, watched the wedding in silence before joining in a party afterwards, with activities including a disco, karaoke and pig roast.

Anne Perrins, secretary of the club, said: "The wedding was lovely. There's been a great atmosphere and a really good turnout."

Grandmother-of-three Sue Raybone wanted to do something special to help her grandchildren remember the day.

She held a party at her home in Holman Road, Willenhall, with guests ranging from her 10-month-old grandson Harley to her 78-year-old mother Patricia.

Miss Raybone, aged 57, said: "When the children get older and perhaps William is on the throne they can remember watching him getting married."

Dozens of people flocked to Darlaston All Active Club, in Willenhall Road, Darlaston, to watch the nuptials on a big screen.

Assistant manager Derek Stevenson said: "People were taking bets on what Kate's hairstyle would be like."

At Review Hair Design, in Turnberry Road, Bloxwich, staff donned wedding and bridesmaid dresses to get into the spirit of things.

The bunting and ballons were up, the tables were set and the cakes iced - but the big screens on which the royal wedding was due to be broadcast failed to arrive at one of Cannock's biggest street parties.

Instead revellers who had gathered in Market Street in Hednesford town centre crammed into the Lightwoods shopping mall to watch the special event.

The day's organiser Linda Whitehouse received a phone call from the rental company the night before to say it had accidentally double-booked. But she said: "Everybody seems to have taken it well."

Hawkins Coffee House owner Pauline Hawkins served up more than 300 hot drinks before 11am. "I was only expecting a few regulars," she said.

Windsor House at Marquas Court care home was the perfectly named venue for a royal celebration.

Care assistant Elizabeth Mason wore a bridal frock and tiara - borrowed from Katie's Brides shop in Heath Hayes - while residents at the home in Littleworth Road, near Cannock, donned suits and hats to watch the event on television.

Miss Mason said: “I was so excited, I felt as if it was my own wedding. My dress was a lot more sparkly than Kate’s," she added.

The festivities started early at Bar Sport in High Green, Cannock, where owner Scott Murray laid on a royal wedding breakfast.

Patients at Cannock Chase Hospital did not miss out either - they were served up royal wedding lunches of traditional roast beef and Yorkshire puds. Laminated copies of the menu were given out as a keepsake.

The flags were also out at street parties in Telford Close, Burntwood and Hislop  Road, Rugeley, and at a garden party at Tiddlywinks Day Nursery in East Street, Cannock,

And last night Cottage of Content pub in Chasetown was holding a royal-themed tiaras and top hats party.

In Stafford, celebrations were taking place at care homes, farms and homes.

Residents at Stafford and Rural Homes in Jubilee Court joined together to watch events unfold at Westminster Abbey.

Other festivities took place at Sister Dora Nursing Home in Milford and Amerton Farm and Craft Centre.

Woodleyes Crescent in Stafford and roads in Doxey and Derrington were closed for street parties.

A party in Stone saw festivities and fireworks attract hundreds of royal fans at a council-organised finale to the big day.