Union Jack table cloths will adorn the trestle tables and bunting will flap in the breeze as we tuck into what will be a unique occasion, the like of which we may never see again.

Street parties will be taking place across the nation this weekend, as we mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Roads will be closed off to cars for a few hours as the magic begins for the first time since the Diamond Jubilee was commemorated a decade ago.

Young and old will sit down together to celebrate - a rare thing in itself in an age when anyone over 40 probably can't understand what the average teenager is on about half the time. As in Platty Joobs, chaa?

Eastern Daily Press: Street party in Bartholomew Street in Norwich for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953Street party in Bartholomew Street in Norwich for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953 (Image: Submitted)

How much things have changed since Elizabeth II acceded to the throne in 1952 will be one of the main topics of conversation for those old enough to remember life before the colour TV, mobile phone or internet.

Younger revellers may well shake their heads in disbelief when told there was a time when we watched the telly in black and white and there was no Facebook.

And it's not just the world around us that has changed, in a dizzying swirl of new technology, new opportunities and new threats.

We've undergone seismic change too. Many of us spend more time scrolling through our screens than speaking to our neighbours or even our own families these days.

Social media has become our social life. Even the Queen and Royal Family are on Twitter.

Eastern Daily Press: Neighbours enjoy a street party in SheringhamNeighbours enjoy a street party in Sheringham (Image: Archant)

Yet it wasn't always like that. Street parties are more than just a good old fashioned knees-up. They're a throwback to a time where generations were united in hope less than a decade before 1926, when our longest-reigning monarch was born.

Street parties can trace their origins back to 1919, when Peace Day was declared. On July 19 that year, communities were encouraged to put on peace teas to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which formalised the end of the war between the Allies and Germany.

The First World War, which ended the previous year, had brought hardship and left countless children orphaned. Hundreds of thousands did not come home.

It was time to move on from the horrors of the trenches, time to look ahead to a brighter future after what became naively known as the war to end all wars.

Streets were decorated with bunting, while families came together to share food and play games. Happy memories were made in the summer sunshine.

Peace Day became a red, white and blueprint for future national celebrations. And street parties went on to become an enduring and almost uniquely British tradition.

King George V''s Silver Jubilee was marked in similar vein in 1935, along with the coronation of George VI two years later, after his older brother and first in line to the throne Edward VIII was forced to abdicate.

Then came another gruelling war, after which generations took to the streets again to celebrate the return of peace.

After the Festival of Britain, in 1951, parties commemorated red letter days on the royal calendar, such as the Queen's coronation in 1953 , her Silver Jubilee in 1977, her Golden Jubilee in 2002 and her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

The weddings of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, and Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 saw the trestle tables go up again.

Eastern Daily Press: Children celebrate the Silver Jubilee in Beatrice Street, Norwich, in 1977Children celebrate the Silver Jubilee in Beatrice Street, Norwich, in 1977 (Image: Archant)

Sunday sees the bunting come back with a bang for the Platinum Jubilee. If the number of Union Jacks and decorations you see driving around Norfolk are anything to go by, the 70th anniversary of the Queen's record reign has really captured people's imagination.

Killjoys have complained of traffic chaos, with more than 100 road closures in Norfolk alone and countless thousands of parties expected across the length and breadth of the land.

Authorities have fortunately been encouraged to adopt a flexible approach to those who didn't get round to applying for the necessary permit before the deadline, rather than dish out fines for desert.

But the moans will be drowned out and rightly so as thousands take to the streets. And let's face it, we could certainly all do with a doom and gloom-free afternoon for a change right now.

While war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis are enough to drive the Dalai Lama to drink, Sunday is going to be about much more than just a booze-up to finish the four-day holiday weekend.

Back in 1919, people shared food and contributed what they could for Peace Teas. In those hard times some would have had very little to bring to the party, just as increasing numbers are struggling today.

Sunday's Big Lunch theme invites us all to do the same and chip in, whether it's helping to make the coronation chicken sandwiches, baking a round of cup-cakes, or firing up the barbie and throwing a few extra bangers on for the neighbours.

It's all about sharing what you have and being part of the community even if you're not Jamie Oliver when it comes to knocking up the hors d'oeuvres.

No-one's going top care if your icing runs or your sausages end up a little charred.

Perhaps that's why street parties have endured down the generations. Because they bring us all together to share and delight in the simplest of things from sandwiches cut into triangles washed down with warm beer or flat lemonade, to party games. So roll on Sunday.