Watton and Swaffham set for a right royal wedding celebration

WATTON and Swaffham are quickly becoming awash with red, white and blue as final preparations are made for this Friday's royal wedding celebrations.

The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton will be marked in both towns with a series of parties, displays and decorations.

In Watton, the town council will hang bunting along the length of the High Street to mark the day while one of the town's newsagents has decided to use the event as an opportunity to celebrate the community's many other happy couples.

Chris Edwards, of Edwards Newsagents on the High Street, asked people in the town to send in copies of their wedding photographs.

About 60 images have been taken in and put on display in the shop window.

Mr Edwards said: 'Everyone is making a fuss about the royal wedding, but everybody's wedding is very special to them.

'I thought it would be nice to remember all the local people in our community who have had equally happy days with their families.'

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Just outside the town centre, on the Norwich Road Industrial Estate, a forklift truck has been given a makeover in honour of the Big Day.

It is sitting outside Nationwide Food Packing, which was badly damage following a fire in a neighbouring unit in February.

Managing director Brenda Henderson said her partner, manager and enthusiastic royalist Mick Curtis decided to decorate it to give staff a lift following a tough few months.

It took three days to paint and includes lashings of bunting and a union flag on the seat.

Decorations have also started to go up in Swaffham, with Kate and Wills flags adorning nearly every building in the historic Market Place.

An afternoon of activities and entertainment has been organised by the Swaffham and District Lions to bring the town together after Friday's ceremony.

Local band The Strollers will provide the soundtrack and party-goers will be able to feast on tea, cakes and a barbecue.

Swaffham Museum, in London Street, has put together a display of royal memorabilia and local shops will be entering into the spirit with a wedding-themed window display competition.

The event will run from 1pm to 4pm and everyone is welcome.

Elsewhere in Swaffham, a street which celebrated Charles and Diana's big day will be stepping back in time on Friday.

Organisers hope a street party being held in Sutton Road, off Filby Road, will be as successful as one held in nearby Ormesby Road in 1981.

Up to 100 residents are expected to gather in gardens for a barbecue and drinks to toast the happy couple.

Organiser Nick Duggleston said his wife, Nina, organised the street party 30 years ago, but she had tonsillitis and was forced to miss some of the celebrations.

In Sporle, The Street will be closed from 2pm to 7pm on Friday for an old-fashioned street party bringing together young and old.

And in Caston, near Watton, Holy Cross Church is organising a Royal Wedding celebration meal on Saturday from 7.30pm at the village hall. There will be three courses, wedding cake and wedding presents. Guests are asked to wear cravats and wedding hats.

Call 01953 483751 for more information.

The Watton and Swaffham Times hopes to cover as many events as possible but, if we can't make it along, you can send words and pictures from your event to ian.clarke@archant.co.uk.

You can also follow events on the day itself, enjoy pictures from celebrations all over the region or read previous Royal Wedding stories by logging on to www.edp24.co.uk