My father came from England to work at Ford in the early 20th Century. Where we lived in what is now Ford City, there was a significant English-Canadian community and there was always a street party to celebrate Victoria Day. Everyone would bring a dish. My mother would make her famous lemon drizzle cake. My favourite dish was a staple from our neighbour, Mrs. Collins. She made the most delicious sausage rolls. She hand rolled her dough and used special spice in her sausage meat which she ground and mixed herself. When I was a young woman preparing to get married she taught me her secret as she only had boys and, truth be told, didn’t care to pass it on to any of their wives.
The neighborhood girls watched as the boys raced on the streets. One or two of the girls would have made a flower garland for the winner. At dusk, my father and the other men would set off fireworks and we’d stand in the street and sing. Street parties were a wonderful experience and the sense of community is unmatched today. Everyone knew everyone and we helped each other and worked together and shared our special gifts.
Louisa – 95 – Belle River
Picture of a Coronation Street Party in London in 1953. Click here to see the original source.