SHEFFIELD: Let’s have a right royal Jubilee party

Residents of Banner Cross Road held a Jubilee Street Party on Sunday
Residents of Banner Cross Road held a Jubilee Street Party on Sunday
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SHEFFIELD is all set to bring out the red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

A total of 53 street parties are being held across the city over the bank holiday weekend and six beacons will be lit on Monday night to celebrate the 60 year reign.

Already schools have been getting into the spirit by holding parties before the end of term, and an early street party last weekend in Banner Cross Road, Banner Cross, brought about 200 residents out of their homes.

It set the tone for the weekend, with residents sharing food, having a good laugh and some people talking to their neighbours for the first time.

One of the organisers, Katie Patmore, said: “We got to chat to neighbours, getting to know people who you didn’t know. It’s a very friendly road and the Jubilee was a kind of hanger. It was to celebrate the Queen’s reign, but it was also an opportunity for neighbours to get together and do things as a group.”

The council has agreed street closures to allow the outdoor parties - 26 more than were held for last year’s royal wedding - and pubs, clubs, shops and other businesses are organising their own activities.

Typical are the arrangements for School Lane, Greenhill, where a Jubilee lunch and street party are planned for Sunday from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, linked to Greenhill Methodist Church.

“We are in a residential area and the neighbours probably see us come and go,” said church outreach worker Marlene Skuce. “This is a way of trying to get know each other better. We are hoping people will join in.

“I guess people will wait to see what the weather is like, but we are hoping to have lots of fun for all ages.”

Fair weather is forecast for the weekend, although some street party organisers are keeping their fingers crossed for later next week. Residents in and around Ashurst Road on the Marchwood estate in Stannington are preparing to bring out trestle tables for a tea party on Tuesday between 5pm and 7pm.

“I don’t think there has ever been a whole street party,” said organiser Jayne Stacey. “I put the idea to a few neighbours and they said: ‘Let’s go for it’. People seem genuinely interested.”

In Chapeltown, residents are preparing a street party and to light a Jubilee bonfire, both on Monday.

The bonfire will be in the highest position in the park so it can be seen from a distance, forming part of a chain, and it will be lit by local MP Angela Smith.

Beforehand, a party will be held in the park, near the bandstand, between noon and 6pm, organised by the Friends of Chapeltown Park.

Old fashioned games will be played, including a sack race and an egg and spoon race.

“We always get a lot of people to our events,” said secretary Doris Denton. “I think everybody will be getting out their flags and sorting out the bunting. It’s going to be wonderful.”

Six council-backed jubilee beacons will be lit in Sheffield - at Chapeltown Park, Mayfield Valley, Bradway Recreation Ground, Manor Fields, Fox Lane Playing Fields, and the Bolehills, Crookes - between 10pm and 10.30pm on Monday.

Another location will be the Three Merry Lads pub in Redmires Road, Lodge Moor, although instead of having a beacon on a pole, owners Barry Croxall and Jane Thompson have created a bonfire. The pub’s Jubilee celebrations start at noon.

Jayne Stacey. “I put the idea to a few neighbours and they said: ‘Let’s go for it’ “People seem genuinely interested.”

In Chapeltown, residents are preparing for a street party and to light a Jubilee bonfire, both on Monday.

The bonfire will be in the highest position in the park and will be lit by local MP Angela Smith.

Beforehand, between noon and 6pm, a party will be held in the park, organised by the Friends of Chapeltown Park. Old fashioned games will be played, including a sack race and an egg and spoon race.

“We always get a lot of people to our events,” said Friends secretary Doris Denton. “I think everybody will be getting out their flags and sorting out the bunting. It’s going to be wonderful.”

Six council-backed jubilee beacons will be lit - at Chapeltown Park, Mayfield Valley, Bradway Recreation Ground, Manor Fields, Fox Lane Playing Fields, and the Bolehills, Crookes - between 10pm and 10.30pm on Monday.

The Three Merry Lads pub in Redmires Road, Lodge Moor, will light a bonfire.

Local businesses have mixed feelings about the long break. Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “The two-day bank holiday weekend will be good and bad for business depending on the sector. For the retail and leisure sectors, the celebration will be of benefit as more people will be off work and spending money in shops, pubs and restaurants. The event will generate a feelgood factor around the city region and provide a great opportunity for those sectors at a crucial period. “Alternatively, those businesses which have to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, such as heavy industry, will suffer. Due to the nature of their work, those businesses can’t close during the bank holiday and will have to pay premium rates for staff, and offer alternative days in lieu. This will ultimately cost the business money.”

The Federation of Small Businesses said: “Our view would generally be that we fully intend to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and we urge businesses to make the most of this wonderful celebration. As a general observation however, the UK Parliament needs to take a critical review of the general pattern of public holidays with a view to abolishing the ‘useless’ ones, such as the pointless May Day bank holiday, and levelling them out over the year.”