A MASSIVE range of events is being lined up in Huddersfield to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
Villages are already organising events – with one already promising to involve every person living there.
And there will be an extra bank holiday to give people another day off to celebrate the landmark occasion.
The already impressive list was unveiled at Huddersfield Town Hall, organised by the West Yorkshire Lieutenancy, the Queen’s representatives in the county.
Open air and town hall concerts, street parties, celebratory church services, summer fairs, fireworks, community picnics, fun days and fund-raising days, a gala football match and even an extra bank holiday are just a few of the events scheduled for Kirklees next year.
Events include a Diamond Jubilee fete in Mirfield on Armed Forces Day and a picnic involving everybody in the village of Emley. Although the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is officially next June, people in Kirklees will be starting earlier than most with a major event already lined up for next February – with Huddersfield Town playing a game to remember.
The last time the United Kingdom celebrated a monarch’s Diamond Jubilee was in 1897 when Queen Victoria marked 60 years as head of state with a procession through the streets of London full of pomp and circumstance.
Peter Sunderland, Deputy Lieutenant and leader of the Kirklees Project Group, said: “At 85, Her Majesty is still doing a longer working day than many of us. She has a punishing schedule which she carries out on behalf of the country. Kirklees is the 11th biggest authority out of 348 in the UK, so we really have to put our heads together to do something positive. We are asking businesses to consider giving small amounts of money to community groups.
“In these times of austerity, the feelgood factor and the public appetite for the Diamond Jubilee are truly immense.”
Mr Sunderland said events would all be self funding and managed locally – and that it was extremely important to involve the young people of Kirklees. He revealed that local Freemasons have already set up a fund with four £25,000 grants and a number of £5,000 grants.
He added that official celebrations would take place in London during the first week in June. The Spring Bank Holiday had been moved back to Monday, June 4 and the following day had been granted an extra Bank Holiday, giving the public a four-day break including the weekend before. The Town Hall audience was made up of 200 specially invited ‘movers and shakers’ in Kirklees. These included people from every community organisation in the borough, as well as representative from churches, education, local business, emergency services, musical bands, Huddersfield Town FC and many others.
Kirklees Mayor councillor ERIC FIRTH said: “If ever there was a time to push the boat out, this is it. Our role is to say to the public we, as partners, are going to celebrate the occasion and encourage wider participation.”
Kirklees Council already has a number of events in the pipeline, including a Diamond Jubilee party for 60 people who will be 60 next year.
Communities councillor JEAN CALVERT said: “When times are hard and there is doom and gloom in the media, the nation needs opportunities to come together to forget its troubles.
“The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is a perfect opportunity for that to happen.
“We have to be realistic, we will be taking existing events and creating something special from them.”
Clr Calvert added that open air weekend concerts would return to Greenhead Park.
She made clear that the council had no extra money, but would earmark existing funds for the festivities. Local businesses were also encouraged to get in touch with small organisations to sponsor community events.
In addition, the council would make it easier to apply for licences and street closures. It will also run training sessions on how to organise a community event such as a street party. Further details are on the council’s website.
Huddersfield University Vice-Chancellor Prof BOB CRYAN promised a lasting legacy to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.
60 Diamond Jubilee scholarships for students from each of the 54 Commonwealth countries.
60 Diamond Jubilee scholarships for UK students.
A series of entertaining lectures, free to the public, looking at developments over the last 60 years.
Free public concerts
Work commissioned for both the Contemporary Music Festival and the Literature Festival, the latter to involve local schoolchildren
Diamond Jubilee graduation prizes for the top 60 students.
A big open event in University Square.
The lasting legacy would be the creation of a permanent post, the Diamond Jubilee professorship.
Principal of Kirklees College PETER McCANN said he did not want to go into detail of the college’s plans, but part of the new campus would be dedicated to the Diamond Jubilee.
MANDY KENNEDY from Cummins Turbo Technologies, said that it would be a double celebration for the company, which was also celebrating its own 60th birthday next year.
Ms Kennedy said its 900 employees were currently being canvassed for community project ideas. Once these has been decided, an open day would be held involving all the workforce to celebrate the contribution they had made during Diamond Jubilee year.
SEAN JARVIS, commercial director of Huddersfield Town Football Club, said: “We are looking forward to kicking off the celebration in February.”
Huddersfield Town’s home match against Exeter on February 25 would be dedicated to the Diamond Jubilee.
The main features of the match will be:
Specially-priced Diamond Jubilee tickets, with free entry to anyone born in 1952.
Fans will be encouraged to wear patriotic red, white and blue.
A special Jubilee shirt will be worn by players in the warm up to the match.
Huddersfield Youth Opera will sing to the crowd before the match.
Hospitality food will have a 1950s theme.
A competition will be run to win a corporate box for the day.
The jewel in the crown of the prizes will be a real diamond which will be given to one lucky winner at half time.
MARY AUGUSTINE, from Huddersfield African Caribbean Carnival Trust, said the Trust planned to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in a big way with visual arts, education and training, which would culminate in the multi cultural Huddersfield Carnival
The carnival now attracts thousands from all over the country and will be 28 years old next year. The Afro Caribbean trust started making plans two years ago and their theme is already decided – A Right Royal Carnival.
The event will begin on Friday, June 13, 2012. A lasting legacy will be that the trust will set up the young people’s Diamond Jubilee forum.
Sir JOHN HARMAN spoke as chairman of One Community, a charity set up in May 2010 to support and distribute funds to good causes in Kirklees.
He urged people and businesses to get in touch with One Community. They would put them in contact with small organisations who were planning celebrations and looking for financial support.
He added: “We have set up the Jubilee Fund where people can put a few hundred pounds in. The earlier small community projects see funding, the better.
“We will match potential donors with potential recipients and properly distribute the grant money.”
At the end of the meeting a message was read out by The Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dr INGRID ROSCOE.
She said: “In late July a letter listing major events in the Kirklees area was sent to Buckingham Palace so that the Queen should know of the heartlifting and happy events being planned locally for 2012.
“Her Private Secretary wrote back, by return, to say how pleased Her Majesty was by your response, how impressed she was with the list of planned events and that she hoped to be kept informed of developments.
“With your good help, she will be!”
In the question and answer session at the end, various members of the public talked about events already planned for