Olympic fever hits the Fylde coast...

The Queen arrives (without helicopter) in King Edward Avenue, North Shore, courtesy of residents' association chairman Martin Ruddy. BELOW: residents with (front) Michael Higgins (left) and Alan Darling of the Pembroke Hotel.

The Queen arrives (without helicopter) in King Edward Avenue, North Shore, courtesy of residents' association chairman Martin Ruddy. BELOW: residents with (front) Michael Higgins (left) and Alan Darling of the Pembroke Hotel.

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IT MAY be a royal avenue – but it is not every day the Queen pays a visit.

Her Majesty took pride of place as residents of a North Shore street bid to show judges their blooming brilliant community spirit.

People living on King Edward Avenue staged a right royal Olympic occasion – complete with a life-size cardboard cut-out of Her Majesty – to mark the visit of this year’s North West in Bloom judges.

And following on from “outstanding” success in the prestigious competition last year, hopes are high this year’s best of British theme will secure the street further floral glory.

Martin Ruddy, chairman of the road’s resident association and owner of Martin’s Hotel, said: “We get together every year and get our gardens up to scratch.

“This year has been hard because of the weather but they judge you partly on the gardens and also partly on your community spirit.

“The way the street gets together is really evident in King Edward Avenue and last year the judges gave us outstanding – the second top grade – and we’re hoping to get the top prize this year.”

Hanging baskets, tubs, window boxes and floral front gardens were lovingly tended to by the street’s residents in a bid to scoop the top prize, with the street bedecked in red, white and blue for the festivities.

Mr Ruddy added: “Everyone puts a lot of time and effort into it and keep the gardens really nicely.

“Last year people dressed up as guests, serving wenches and landlords and this year we had a royal garden party with an Olympics theme and a cardboard cut-out of the Queen. It’s all about the community and bringing everyone together.”