THE Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics and England in the European Football championships - one thing’s for certain, this summer promises to be one to remember as the nation gets ready to party. Features editor DARREN BURKE has come up with the definitive guide to making sure your celebrations go with a bang.
RED, white and blue bunting fluttering in the breeze, cars adorned with England flags, shops piled high with merchandise emblazoned with the Union Jack - love it or hate it, you’re not going to be able to escape the nation’s outpouring of pride over the next few months.
2012 is officially our year - the one time when the nation gets to go a little bit crazy and colourfully patriotic as three major events collide head on. If you’re not decked out like a cross between an England football fan and a reveller at the Last Night Of The Proms this summer, you’ll not be getting an invite anywhere.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday bonanza in June will kick things off, then its headlong into a footballing frenzy as Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions go into battle in Poland and Ukraine and then the summer will be rounded off by what’s promised to be the biggest and best sporting spectacle the globe has ever witnessed, The London 2012 Olympic Games.
But chances are you already knew all that. And chances are you’ll be doing something to mark one or all three, whether its a few drinks over a barbecue with pals or a full-on street party with flags and lashings of good cheer.
So far, Doncaster Council bosses have received just seven applications for jubilee street parties - but holding a bash of your own is simple - and we’re sure dozens more of you will sign up to raise a glass to Her Majesty.
But if you are planning to hoist up the bunting, you need to hurry for the deadline for applications is May 18.
So what’s the best way to cut through the red, white and blue tape? If you’re full of questions on just how to celebrate, then read on and let us take the stress out of partying...
Party planning checklist
* Chat about your party idea to your neighbours and think about when to hold the party.
* Invite everyone in the street to get involved and share respobnsibilities
* If people agree, apply to Doncaster Council for a street closure.
* Plan activities for all ages and tastes.
* Ask everything to bring something - food, games, drink, chairs - to share the burden.
* Make sure music is not too late or loud and covers all tastes.
* Work together to arrange the road signs, tables and chairs on party day
* Borrow, buy or make some bunting. Pound shops, market stalls and supermarkets are all selling memorabilia for events this summer.
* Clear up and re-open the road afterwards.
* And last of all, make sure everyone has a fantastic fun time!
Questions and answers
Q: So, what’s all the fuss about?
A: There are three major events in the UK this summer. The Queen marks her 60th year on the throne - the Diamond Jubilee - with four days of national events across an extended bank holiday weekend from June 2-5. The focus will primarily be on London but people across the country are being urged to celebrate with street parties with the Big Lunch on June 3 (www.thebiglunch.com). The European Football championships, which take place every four years, follow just a few days later with England and the Republic of Ireland among the 16 competing nations. Then, after the likes of Wimbledon, global eyes will be on Great Britain for two whole weeks as we play host to the Olympic Games, the first time the worldwide spectacular has been held here since 1948. The Paralympic games will follow on too.
Q: Sounds good. Right, I’ve decided I want a party to celebrate - what do I do?
A: Street parties are a great British tradition, a good way to celebrate with your neighbours. Organising a small, private party is simple and generally does not include activities that need a licence, such as selling alcohol or providing certain types of entertainment. If you want a pay bar or intend to provide entertainment to the wider public or charge for your event, you will need a Temporary Event Notice, priced at £21 from Doncaster Council and which covers events of less than 500 people. You can apply online at www.doncaster.gov.uk or contact 01302 736000 for more advice.
Q: I don’t fancy anything too big - how do I organise a small private street party?
A: Start planning now and contact the Council to inform them of your plans. They’ll be able to advise you.
Q: Do I need to let anyone know or register our event? A: For most small parties in a quiet street, all DMBC needs to know is where and when the road closure will take place so it can be planned around, for example, letting the emergency services know.
Q: Is there any local authority funding to support a street party or resources I can use?
A: There is no specific funding but the council’s local community area team may be able to help in other ways.
Q: What if some residents object or don’t want to take part?
A: Consult with all your neighbours and explain what you are planning. If neighbours do not want to be involved be considerate and appreciate the feelings of others when it comes to noise, disruption etc.
Q: Do I need insurance? Or a risk assessment?
A: No, you don’t need public liability insurance for a small residential street party, but if you want to look into it, there are more details at www.streetparty.org.uk or www.thebiglunch.com. You don’t need a risk assessment either but have a back up plan - what will you do if the weather is poor? Who will be in charge of the barbecue? What about broken glass etc?
Q: I am going to be serving alcohol. Do I need a licence?
A: No. You only need one if you SELL alcohol. At a private party, sharing drinks with your neighbours does not require a licence. If you want to sell booze, you’ll need a Temporary Events Notice.
Q: That’s the booze sorted then. Can I play music? A: Yes - and you don’t need an entertainment licence either. If the party is private for residents and the music is not advertised in advance to attract people, you will be OK, whether its live or recorded.
Q: Sounding good this. How about when it comes to serving food?
A: No problem again, unless you are only selling hot food and drink after 11pm. Get everyone to chip in with cakes, sandwiches and crisps or meat for the barbie to share costs.
Q: Where do I stand if we want to hold a tombola or raffle?
A: Again, you probably don’t need permission. If tickets are sold on the day and the prizes are not worth more than £500 it will be exempt from gambling regulations. But if tickets are sold in advance you will need permission. Proceeds must go to a good cause or covering the cost of your party.
Q: Where can I get all the stuff I need?
A: All the major supermarkets are already stocking items such as bunting and souvenirs while many have ranges of Olympic souvenirs, garden furniture and of course, food and drink. Keep your eyes peeled for special offers on beer, barbecue foods and party items closer to the time - but stock up early to avoid disappointment. Doncaster Market and local independent retailers also have party items such as plastic plates, cups and decorations - and if you want to go the whole hog, there are plenty of fancy dress outfitters where you can hire costumes.
Q: OK. Let’s get the party started! Who does the clearing up afterwards?
A: You do. It’s your street, it’s your party, so keep your local area clean and tidy. Let people know in advance what time your party will finish and leave an area set aside for bin bags.
Q: Will I be able to read all about my party in the Free Press?
A: If you and your family and friends will be having a celebration to mark the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 or the Olympics, we want to hear from you! So tell us about your summer events and send us your pictures. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at Editorial Department, Doncaster Free Press, Sunny Bar, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN1 1NB.
Scones fit for a Queen
STUCK for what to serve at your Great British street party? There’s nothing more English than scones and strawberry jam - and this delicious recipe will make sure you’re the cream of the crop at your party!
250g/2 cups flour - use organic white or a mixture of white and brown flour if preferred
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg beaten with sufficient milk to make up about 3/4 cup liquid
3 tablespoons sunflower seed oil or butter
(If butter is used then it must be rubbed into the dry ingredients - this is traditional way of making scones)
1. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add the milk to the beaten egg mixture and then add the oil. Mix well. Using a fork, gently mix the milk mixture into the dry ingredients until they are just blended together.
4. Topple the contents of the bowl onto a dry, floured surface and knead a very little until the mixture just holds together.
5. Pat the dough out and then fold in half and pat the two halves together (this gives the traditional two tier look to the scones).
6. Cut scones with a floured cutter or glass and place on baking sheet and glaze with remaining egg mixture.
7. Bake in oven 450ºF (250ºC) for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Serve hot with jam and cream.
For the Strawberry Jam
1lb/450g ripe strawberries
juice of 1 large lemon
1. Place the ripe strawberries in a large, thick bottomed saucepan.
2. Add the sugar and lemon juice.
3. Cook slowly, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
4. Continue to cook until the fruit is soft. If you wish to speed up the process, use a potato masher to pulp the fruit.
5. Then turn up the heat and allow the mixture to reduce until the jam slips sideways off the spoon when the spoon containing jam is held over the saucepan. Prior to this point the jam will drip off the spoon but when ready, it slides sideways/sheets.
6. Check that the jam has thickened by placing a small amount on an iced metal dish.
7. Do NOT be tempted to continue to cook the jam at this point although it may appear thin. Be guided by the gelling on the plate and the sheeting off the spoon tests.
8. Pour into bottles that have been well washed and turned upside down in the oven 200ºF/100ºC to dry and sterilise for about half an hour. Fill bottle with jam as close to top as possible.
9. Seal with circles of wax proof paper put directly onto the jam and screw on lid tightly.
10. As the jam cools and a vacuum is formed, the lid will be pulled tight.
Saturday June 2: Tuesday June 5: Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend - four days of national jubilation to mark The Queen’s 60th year on the throne, including the Big Jubilee Lunch on June 3.
Friday June 8: The Euro 2012 football championships get underway; Monday June 11, 5pm: England v France (Euro 2012);Friday June 15, 7.45pm: England v Sweden (Euro 2012);Tuesday June 19, 7.45pm: England v Ukraine (Euro 2012)
Tuesday June 26: Olympic Torch passes through Doncaster
Sunday July 1: Euro 2012 Final
Friday July 27: London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony
Sunday August 12: London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony