Pontefract Decoration Squad managed by the civic society promised you something big was going to happen, and the Jubilee Arch at the town hall has been delivered! We hope you like it.

Pontefract had 3 arches built in 1911 for the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary and replicating this has taken months of hard work. Those involved include nine schools, numerous community groups, A to Z Scaffolding, Barkers Fencing, Tracked Spider Solutions, and Five Towns Print & Design, all with the support of ward councillors and officers.  A few people need special thanks, namely, Rachel List, who helped running children’s workshops for the central boards across the arch, the brilliant Pontefract Art Club, who painted many of the community boards, and Jill Williams after we commissioned a Jubilee poem.

Phil Cook, vice chair, Pontefract Civic Society said, “without all of them, we couldn’t have done this project. It has taken numerous hours to plan and paint, and final 7 hours to build until 11pm; we estimate around to be around 100 hours of work in total. This project has really brought the community together, and we hope it’s a focal point for the civic pride in Pontefract and for Yorkshire”.

The wider programme is summarised on one of the boards on the arch, which includes numerous free public events, such as the 1950’s picnics at the castle and the Valley Gardens and a Garden Party at Carleton Grange, plus ticketed and private events, too. Other activities will include entertainment at your favourite pubs and bars, quizzes, beacon lighting at the castle at 9:45pm on Thurs 2nd Jun, and the library has a whole of Jubilee-related activities.

The project funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and Wakefield Council following the support from ward councillors.

Paul Cartwright, chair, Pontefract Civic Society said, “the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has been nine months in the making, and whilst this is a team effort, tribute must be paid to Phil Cook, who has worked tirelessly, sometimes against all odds, to curate a programme of over 70 events and activities for everyone.  This will include additional entertainment at the Jubilee Market on Sat 4th Jun, with 5 Towns Radio plus singers, a magician, car exhibitors, barrel organ, and KLH Craft Fair will be in the town hall. You can sign the commemorative book at St Giles Church, buy a pint of Jubilee ale at The Old Grocers and other places, and  I urge everyone to visit the Jubilee Arch to see the artwork, the poem, and the programme, and then to enjoy exploring further artwork and events, whilst being proud of what has been created for you; this is a testament to Pomfretians can achieve when they work together”.  

Jubilee decorations in Pontefract’s shops and other locations were judged by primary school pupils, and they were pleased to see the thought and high standard in the very best decorations. Certificates were awarded to the winner and runner up in the shop window category and the interior decoration category:

Window display winner                Peter Jones

Window display runner up            Cartners No. 5

Interior decoration winner             Pontefract Library Makery

Interior decoration runner up        Forever After

Further detailed Jubilee information will be posted on social media channels @pontefractcivic, and via the Experience Wakefield website.

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