Longest Jubilee party in Britain

Hats and cakes in all sorts of unusual places as communities toast The Queen Credit: PA

With more than 3,700 seats and at 1km long, it was one of the UK's longest street parties - and a spot of rain certainly wasn't going to spoil the fun.

The villages of Goring and Streatley, separated by the Thames and in two different counties, joined together in spectacular style to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee with 465 trestle tables spanning the two high streets and the river bridge.

Red, white and blue ponchos were the order of the day, with the streets transformed into a sea of umbrellas as the heavens opened just as the party got under way.

Organiser Ron Bridle, part of a committee that had been planning the celebrations since last July, said: "We've never had anything like this before. The two villages have a combined population of 3,720 tickets - but there are many more than that here as not everyone has a seat.

"It's fantastic to see all of our plans come to fruition. It's been absolutely wonderful.

"It was disappointing to have wet weather, but it's brought out the British spirit."

Phil Robson, a member of the organising committee, said: "Everybody's turned out - it's an outdoor event, but the wet weather plan was to continue even if there's wet weather.

"We could have cancelled it, but we didn't. There's no such thing as bad weather anyway, only bad clothing, which is why we decided to buy a vast number of ponchos in patriotic colours, which has added to the ambience."

Free scones, with strawberry jam and cream, were made at local pub The Miller of Mansfield and were distributed to everyone sitting out in the wet weather on tables stretching from The Bull pub in Streatley, Berkshire, to the railway bridge in Goring, Oxfordshire.

Local musicians provided the entertainment, with a Queen Victoria and Henry VII providing a regal touch.

The 1km stretch was decorated with red, white and blue bow ties, made to celebrate the links between the two villages.

Sigyta Hart, 60, an acupuncturist who has lived in Goring for 23 years, said of the party: "It's been astonishing. Everyone's ignored the rain, even though it's on our plates and in our Champagne.

"We've carried on regardless and we've laughed through the rain."

Her husband Jonathan, 67, an electrician, said: "We kept calm and kept on celebrating. It's fantastic that everyone's come together - a real sign of community spirit."

Di Kerr, who has lived in the two villages over the past 33 years, said: "This has been a typically English affair. Everyone's been enjoying themselves in the pouring rain. It was very brave of the organisers but everyone has really risen to the occasion."

The villages' celebrations will continue with an evening variety show ahead of their own version of the river pageant tomorrow - a sail-past of colourful boats - and a torchlight procession, before the lighting of the Jubilee beacon which is also tomorrow.