Brighouse was absolutely packed to the rafters with people out to enjoy the Jubilee. It was probably the biggest street party in Yorkshire with most of the town centre taken over with tables and chairs for the free food, live music, dancing, vintage cars, funfair, licensed bar, tombolas, food stalls and other stalls and side shows plus children’s activities such as donkey rides and face painting.
Local people and businesses were extremely generous and donated thousands of buns and savouries. 2000 sandwiches were prepared in addition. There was no need to book you could just turn up from 10am for a free plate of food. Literally 1000’s of people came along and made it a really special occasion.
The whole event was organised by the Brighouse Business Initiative (BBI)with many willing volunteers. The hundreds of cakes were supplied completely free of charge by the generous people of Brighouse. Some people who hadn’t the time to make cakes gave money to help the event. In addition hundreds of savouries were donated. Local businesses were generous with their food donations as well. These included Hartley’s bakery, Merrie England, Wright’s Brandy Snap, Greggs, Sainsburys, Cafe Amanti. Over 1500 plates of food were given out during the day with over 2000 sandwiches been made for the event..
Work to set up the tables and stalls started at 6am on Saturday morning with the volunteers moving over 200 chairs and 30 tables from the Civic Hall. Rokt put up the bunting across Commercial St which was made by local school children.
Large queues formed from 10am for the free food with donations requested for the two selected charities Overgate and Forget Me Not Trust both of whom supplied volunteers throughout the day as did the local scouts.
Two bands performed during the day and an Irish dance ensemble. At 12 noon community singing of patriotic songs (Land of Hope & Glory, National Anthem etc) was lead by Alan Holmes and Robert Brett. The Brighouse queen graced us with an appearance along with two attendants. Vintage cars were on display throughout the day. Donkey rides, garden fete games, face painting, funfair and tombolas were very popular.
The eagerly anticipated event was even broadcast on BBC radio Leeds!
Steven Lord of the Harrison Lord Gallery in Brighouse who is on the BBI committee said “We are extremely proud of what we have achieved, I can hardly believe how successful and amazing a day for Brighouse it has been. I’ve never seen so many people in town. It just shows what a small band of dedicated volunteers can organise. Some months ago we realised that there were no official plans for a street party in Brighouse town centre so the BBI organised it in order that the town could celebrate this great moment in history in a fitting way. During the day many people came up to me to thank us for our efforts which made it all worthwhile. And we have such a strong programme of events coming up for the rest of the year. The next is the Olympic Torch on June 24th, where we are grassing over Commercial St for a mini Olympics. We really are putting Brighouse on the map”