Street parties and medals - town starts Queen's Platinum Jubilee planning

The Queen has been photographed looking relaxed at her Balmoral estate

The Queen will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next year. - Credit: PA

She first ascended to the throne almost 70 years ago, and plans are already under discussion for how best to celebrate the anniversary in Dereham. 

At a Tuesday meeting of the town council’s social and welfare committee, councillors discussed initial ideas for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which will take place during an extended bank holiday in June 2022.

During Dereham’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, the council organised a nominations process through which people who had served the community could be recognised with specially-commissioned medals, in an event at the town’s Memorial Hall. 

Town clerk Tony Needham said the manufacturer of the medals had said this week that they were interested in doing the same thing next year. 

While street parties are being promoted nationally, Mr Needham said it could be difficult to organise them at the town council level for insurance reasons, but that grants could potentially be given to neighbourhoods wishing to organise them themselves. 

Another celebratory possibility mentioned was lighting the beacon on Fleece Meadow, behind the Memorial Hall. 

“It’s always difficult for the Jubilee, because the Jubilee happens in June, when it doesn’t get dark until 10pm and by the time you get to 10pm and want to light the beacon, everyone’s gone home and there’s nobody about,” said Mr Needham.

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Referring to the community recognition awards idea, Labour councillor Harry Clarke said it was important to ensure the diversity of the community is covered.

“Particularly young people who have made an effort at school and sixth form, so we’re getting a range,” said Mr Clarke, adding that he hoped over-looked contributions to the town would be recognised. 

He added that a celebratory event in the Queen Mother’s Garden could work well, given that the recent report produced for the Future Breckland project noted the need to better celebrate pocket public spaces in the town centre. 

Councillors agreed that further discussion would take place at a future meeting, with Mr Clarke and the recently co-opted independent councillor Alan Greenwood to develop some more specific ideas in advance.