THOUSANDS of jubilant residents turned out in force for a right royal street party in Walton.

A platinum jubilee party was held in High Street to mark 70 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

There was a whole host of activities as well as picnics and ‘royal’ teas and cakes, provided by several shops selling themed takeaway lunches.

There was also a children’s fancy dress parade, entertainment and stalls, alongside the town’s usual Thursday market.

Organiser Gail Garbett, chairman of the new Walton Shopkeepers' and Residents' Action Group, was overwhelmed by the number of people who descended on the town.

“We’ve only been going six weeks – and this is our first ever event,” she said.

“The atmosphere has been wonderful – it brought tears to my eyes to see children and families all coming together to celebrate.

“The platinum jubilee is a very special time and a one-off event, the only one we’ll see in our lifetimes – and Walton really celebrated it in style.”

Mum Michelle Pratt took in the atmosphere alongside son Stanley, eight, and his friend Esra Owen, six.

“We really loved the street party – and have been enjoying cake and all the stalls,” she said.

“It’s lovely to see the town so busy – it’s the most vibrant it’s been in years.”

Mrs Garbett said money raised on the day from a raffle will go towards the Naze Protection Society’s campaign to save the town’s famous cliffs.

The Naze Protection Society organised the beacon lighting near the iconic Naze Tower on Thursday night.

Walton’s carnival queen and her court, together with Walton Sea Cadet band, accompanied mayor Terry Allen to light the beacon.

Walton councillor Delyth Miles said: “It was a fantastic day and the fancy dress parade – with many princesses – was wonderful.

“There was a jubilee quiz and so many activities going on – with singers and dancers – everybody pulled together.

“The action group put it altogether in just six weeks – and deserve huge congratulations.

“They’ll now be looking to run further events in the town – this could be the start of something great for Walton.”