JOIN THE DEBATE: Should Sheffield hold a jubilee party?

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FOR: Mary McKinnon, of Dore Village Society

“We are holding a range of events to mark the Jubilee.

“It’s a bit sad, really, that the council seems to be so apathetic. When other towns are holding events you would have thought our city council could organise something.

“They could hold an event in the city centre, they could have live music and a picnic in the Peace Gardens.

“It could be turned into our own version of the Last Night of the Proms, with local bands invited to perform, and it would not need to cost a great deal.

“We have some super brass bands.

“Sheffield has a good track record of large, well-managed events such as Tramlines and Fright Night so I don’t understand why an event could not be organised for the Diamond Jubilee or for it to be a big success in terms of what is on offer and how many people come along.

“I appreciate times are hard financially but it does not need to cost a huge amount of money.

“Bands might be persuaded to perform for free and the council could ask for sponsorship from local businesses.

“You would have thought all the big city councils around the country would be doing something to mark the occasion.”

AGAINST: Paul Wood, chairman of Sheffield District Labour Party

“We would have liked to hold a civic event but to hold a large event that has something for everyone would be expensive.

“I know from looking into holding a concert in Graves Park that you are talking upwards of £200,000 to pay for stages, insurance, security and health and safety requirements.

“People do not realise how astronomical the cost can be of organising large public events.

“In the current climate, I would feel a bit guilty approaching businesses and asking for sponsorship. They might not have much money to spare.

“To have a city-wide event to mark an event like this properly, I think it would need to be a big deal and have entertainment for everyone, rather than having small events for particular groups such as couples marking their diamond wedding anniversaries.

“But there is no guarantee of what kind of audience we might have so the question is whether it is worth the very large potential cost.

“How can we justify spending such an amount when we are having to take small grants away, such as £5,000 from advice centres and £2,000 from lunch clubs?

“I think it would be better to let communities around the city hold their own celebrations.

“A large event could also impact on the success of those smaller parties.

“I am marking the occasion with a barbecue and am inviting senior citizens from the local lunch club along.”

WHAT NEIGHBOURING TOWNS HAVE PLANNED:

ROTHERHAM is planning a public town centre extravaganza on Saturday, June 2.

The town’s main shopping area is set to be transformed into a 1950s style street party, complete with a static display of vehicles from the era, street art, a travelling show, and a vintage market.

Hundreds of tables and chairs will line the town centre streets and children will be at the heart of the celebrations, with entertainment including traditional fairground rides and face painting.

Rotherham District Scouts will lend a helping hand organising games from the 1950s.

Doncaster is opening a new public square at Waterdale on Sunday, June 3, and the celebrations will have a Jubilee theme.

Barnsley Council said it has not yet finalised its plans but says a civic event is on the cards.

And in Chesterfield a series of events will take place, beginning with the lighting of a beacon at 10pm on Monday, June 4, at Pools Brook Country Park.

The following evening there will be a celebration concert at The Winding Wheel featuring traditional British music from the Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra and the Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir.

And a steel Diamond Sculpture is being installed at Queen’s Park, with a civic reception planned for couples marking their diamond wedding anniversaries this year.

HOW SHEFFIELD CELEBRATED THE QUEEN’S SILVER JUBILEE IN 1977:

HER Majesty herself came to South Yorkshire as the county marked her Silver Jubilee in 1977 - and she was guest of honour at a civic event in Sheffield.

Shops and factories closed early so their workers could join crowds which lined the streets as Elizabeth II and Prince Philip took a tour of the area in July 1977.

The Star reported people standing 10-deep on the route in Sheffield between the city centre and Hillsborough Park, where the Queen watched a sports competition involving schoolchildren, and presented certificates to eight winners of relay races.

The Queen also met city dignitaries during the event.

Other places on her itinerary included Maltby Comprehensive School in Rotherham, Cannon Hall in Barnsley, and Doncaster Racecourse.

There were up to 700 street parties across the county and, in Rotherham, the council spent £21,000 on commemorative mugs for all the borough’s schoolchildren.

Sheffield Smelting Company won a contract to produce 30,000 Silver Jubilee Crowns for the Isle of Man.

n What are your memories of the Silver Jubilee celebrations? And what do you think of the lack of civic events this year? Email news@thestar.co.uk