Melton’s Platinum Jubilee celebration could be region’s biggest
Ambitious plans are being drawn up for Melton to enjoy the region’s biggest celebration of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Community groups and civic leaders are pooling ideas to mark the event next summer with a four-day programme of activities, including a street party, Royal fair, family fun day, beer festival and an evening of live music involving local performers.
The town parks, market place, St Mary’s Church and the livestock market are just some of the venues for what is being planned by representatives of Melton Borough Council, Melton Town Estate, Melton BID, town businesses and community groups.
The nation will enjoy an extended Bank Holiday weekend, including the Thursday and Friday leading up to the first weekend in June, to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne.
Councillor Leigh Higgins, the council’s deputy leader, told the Melton Times: “The challenge is to make this one of the largest Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the East Midlands region.
“There are some really good ideas and concepts already being discussed and we want to make it a celebration of Melton and how it has changed over 70 years.
“The aim is also to attract new tourists into the town and ensure local families want to stay in the area to celebrate the occasion with the community they live in.”
Among the events being planned are a Royal Fair in the town centre, a street party, a family fun day and a church service on the Sunday.
The livestock market will host a beer festival, courtesy of Round Corner Brewing, and an eveving music festival.
Schools will also be involved with pupils challenged to draw and paint pictures of what the Platinum Jubilee means to them before they are displayed in the town.
Big screens will also be erected to enable people to watch live broadcasts of national events taking place, such as the London street pageant and a live concert at Buckingham Palace.
Councillor Higgins said it was hoped to recapture the spirit of Melton Day - an event which attracted tens of thousands to the town in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
He added: “We will not be trying to replicate Melton Day, for those local people in their 30s and 40s who remember it well, but we are trying to build the confidence that Melton can hold big events still.
“Nearer the time we will also be putting together a team of volunteers to help with the event and calling them Melton Ambassadors, a bit like the gamesmakers who helped at the 2012 London Olympics.”
The Melton area is also set to enjoy a major programme of tree planting to mark The Queen’s 70 years of service as part of the Jubiltree initiative being championed by Her Majesty and Prince Charles as an environmental boost for the country.
Melton Mowbray Town Estate will be planting a significant number of trees on its land, which includes the town’s parks, and Brooksby Melton College will be doing something similar at its village campus, in the lead up to the Platinum Jubilee.
Matthew O’Callaghan, who founded the Royal Melton heritage concept to highlight the town’s connection with royalty with 18 monarchs having visited in the last 850 years, also wants to see major Melton roads lined with new trees by next summer.
He has written to the town’s county councillors, Pam Posnett and Mark Frisby, asking for them to support the idea by lobbying the county highways department.
“I would like to see, where possible, all the main roads leading into Melton to be tree-lined,” he told the Melton Times.
“I want the trees to be of a type which would become an additional feature for tourists to visit, for example Cherry Blossom in the spring, and Acers for autumn colour.
“We could raise the funds for an overall initiative but I’d like individual households to be able to sponsor their own tree and have it planted outside their house subject to consent and conditions from the county council.”
In an initiative he has dubbed ‘The Greening of Melton’, he says it could also be extended to the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road, which is due to be completed by 2024.
Mr O’Callaghan added: “I’d like to see these trees planted in the middle of Norman Way, for the time being in containers which in the longer term would be part of a boulevard along the road.
“In the longer term, when and if we get the bypass, I believe we should keep the two outside lanes and convert the two inner middle lanes into a tree-lined boulevard where people could walk under the shade of an aisle of trees on either side.
“We could hold events along the boulevard and turn it into a feature for the town.”
Go to www.royalmelton.com/ to see some of the tourism concepts being put forward as part of the Royal Melton project for next year’s Platinum Jubliee.
Details of events for Melton’s celebrations for next year will be published as they are confirmed on the new www.discovermelton.com/ website.