AS LOCKDOWN restrictions are slowly being lifted, Oxfordshire residents stuck at their homes for three months are now eagerly awaiting a post-pandemic blowout.

After the Prime Minister announced the latest changes to the coronavirus measures, one resident in Wantage revealed plans for a party that is set not only to raise the community spirit but to also honour the lives of those who have died during the crisis with a three-minute-silence.

Mike Gladki, who was put on furlough from his job as Boots’ optician manager for Abingdon and Wantage, is gathering support from many for a ‘good old fashioned English street party’.

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The 55-year-old, who lives in the heart of town at Market Place, has seen first-hand the major effect the pandemic has had on independent businesses and the community spirit.

This is why he is calling on the entire town to get behind the post-lockdown celebration.

He said: “Many of us will not see this type of carnage again in our lifetime.

“The idea of the party is very fresh but it is important to re-engage the community and to support local companies.”

Mr Gladki revealed he had already discussed the plan with the owner of his local pub the King Alfred’s Head that will hopefully provide beverages, food and music when the event takes place.

While he is encouraging other residents to share their ideas, the Boots manager believes it is ‘too early to celebrate’ with the number of deaths still so high.

This means that the party might not take place until the end of the summer or even next year to avoid ‘shooting ourselves in the foot’.

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Mr Gladki added: “It is too early now; it will be easier when pubs and restaurants reopen.”

Apart from boosting the local economy and re-uniting with Wantage residents, the 55-year-old explained this would be a good way to pay tribute to those who have died in the pandemic.

He said: “I have spoken to so many people who have lost loved ones, so it would be good to have a three-minute-silence to honour them like we do on VE day.”

Mayor of Wantage Jim Sibbald approved of the idea but warned that ‘one cannot just close the Market Place without informing Highways and bus companies.

Mr Sibbald said: “It is doable but it takes planning and the town clerk to notify all appropriate parts.”

He said he was also liaising with the crew of the HMS Queen Elizabeth on when to hold the postponed Freedom of Entry Parade.

To get in touch with Mr Gladki email