Beacons will light up the sky above Otley as part of the town’s ambitious array ofthe Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Ten ceremonial bonfires, as part of a national beacon chain organised to mark the event, will be lit on top of the Chevin around 10pm on Monday, June 4.
Otley’s big Jubilee celebrations will actually begin, however, the day before, with a street party held in the Market Square.
Organised by Otley Town Council in conjunction with Otley Town Partnership, the event will run from 4pm to 10pm and feature live music from Otley Brass Band, the Chippendale Singers, a Salvation Army band and other performers.
Town council leader Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said: “The whole weekend should have a real celebratory feel.
“Councillor Mary Vickers and her team have worked hard to plan a great event on the Sunday, and on the Monday, when Otley will be on the map as one of the UK’s beacon towns.
“I hope there will be support from the town to make these community events to be proud of.”
The town council has just confirmed details of the other events lined up to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60 year reign.
They will include the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, which has been sponsored by Otley Rotary Club, on the Jubilee Clock on Sunday, June 17, following the Town Mayor’s civic service.
Meanwhile, sculptor Shane Green, head of art at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, is busy carving a specially-commissioned stone sculpture.
The work, designed by Prince Henry’s students, shows the Wharfedale Press – which was invented in Otley and revolutionised the printing industry – and three pages symbolising the ‘three Rs’ of reading, writing and arithmetic.
Sponsored by local businesses, the sculpture is being created at Mone Bros’ Blackhill Quarry, in Bramhope, and due to be installed soon in Wharfemeadows Park, where it will be unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, on Monday, June 25.
Deputy Mayor and chairman of the Jubilee Working Party, Coun Vickers, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Lord Lieutenant to Otley and proud to be installing this sculpture.
“It is a unique and fitting commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee, in addition celebrating Otley’s printing heritage and the importance of education.”
The town council is also inviting couples from Otley, Guiseley, Rawdon and Yeadon, who are celebrating their diamond anniversaries this year, to a special tea party.
Any couple whose anniversary falls between December 31, 2011, and February 28, 2013, is eligible to attend, and the invitation is extended to anyone from Otley turning 60 in June.
The party will be hosted by Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Roger Bowers on Wednesday, July 18. Anyone interested should call (01943) 466335.