When the Royal Wedding was first announced there appeared to be little enthusiasm for it in the community.
The Mercury urged readers to let us know of any local celebrations but for the first few weeks all was quiet.
Then, as the big day, approached more and more of us adopted a party spirit and then we were inundated with calls about parties.
For the first time in many a year, our towns and villages were festooned with Union Jacks, bunting and balloons.
As Royal Wedding Fever finally hit us the shops were emptying fast of food and drink – and with the added bonus of the warm weather outdoor parties were high on the agenda.
I have heard people talking about meeting their neighbours for the first time and tales of everyone chipping in to put on the spread.
Grown men who would normally have avoided talk of weddings and dresses were glued to the telly and I even know one who was persuaded to dress up in a suit for the occasion and another who laid on smoked salmon and bubbly for his girlfriend.
Even the most hardened of old hacks like myself, who has seen and worked through rather a lot of Royal weddings in the past, couldn’t hold back a gasp when Kate stepped from the car to reveal her dress.
And of course my eyes were watering when she said “I do”.
I am always in awe of anyone prepared to camp out on the streets of London to get a view but what camaraderie there was between them all.
This same spirit is what brought people together in our small communities. It is what the big society is really all about and it was great to see so many people joining in the fun and letting their hair down together.
It is a shame that we have to wait for a Royal Wedding to get together and enjoy ourselves.
Every year, the Mercury carries articles about committees needing more volunteers if they are to keep their carnivals, fetes and fairs alive.
If we could inject a little of last week’s enthusiasm into every event there would be no need for all those appeals.
Amanda Hatfield, editor