Light a beacon for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Norfolk is being urged to lead the way in lighting beacons to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee next year.
With its long-established royal ties through the Queen’s beloved Sandringham Estate, the county should be at the forefront of the celebrations to mark her accession to the throne in 1952, says the official organiser of the entire beacon project.
Bruno Peek lives at Gorleston and hopes that places around his home county will be lit up by torchlight on June 4 next year.
“We aim to light 2,012 beacons across the UK and Commonwealth countries and would like to see Norfolk at the forefront of this event,” he explained.
“We would like to see 60 in the county: one for each year of the Queen’s reign.”
Mr Peek, already known widely for his part in similar such patriotic events in the past, has just received permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to put a beacon on the roof of Lambeth Palace for the first time in its history.
The chain of beacons will begin life in the islands of Tonga before spreading across the world and to the UK. The Queen will light a beacon for the nation at Buckingham Palace, which will be the setting for a concert in her honour on Monday, June 4.
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Lowestoft, as the country’s most easterly town, will be among the first places to light beacons.
St David’s in Wales; Unst, Britain’s northernmost island, and the church of St Clement’s on the island of Jersey mark the remaining three compass points to form the UK part of the chain. Specially-commissioned portable tower beacons will be avail-able for churches, castles and other high-points so they can be part of it.
The beacons, either on a tower or in a bonfire style, could be used as a centrepoint for individual charity events on the day, said Mr Peek. “We would very much encourage everyone to use them to raise money through parties or barbecues at the beacon sites,” he said.
Sandringham will have a bonfire beacon of its own within the estate.
Mr Peek, a pageant-master, was responsible for golden jubilee beacon-lighting festivities in 2002, a role that led to him being made a member of the Royal Victorian Order.
Buckingham Palace announced only days ago that he would be taking a similar role in the main diamond celebrations, which will take place over four days.
More information about what is planned for the jubilee celebrations at www.royal.gov.uk
Full details of the beacons and registration forms to take part will be posted on the EDP24 website later this month.