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Diamond Jubilee: Thousands of beacons to be lit

Category: England

Published: 4th Jun 2012 04:44:23

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations are set to continue with more than 4,000 beacons due to be lit after a concert at Buckingham Palace.

During the afternoon a picnic will be held in the Buckingham Palace Gardens for ticket holders who will then attend a BBC concert at the palace.

When the concert ends at 22:00 BST beacons will be lit to mark 60 years of the Queen's reign.

Beacon lighting will take place between 22:00 and 22:30 in the UK.

Beacons will be lit across the rest of the world at 22:00.

The Queen will light the UK's last beacon - the National Beacon - at about 22:30 before a firework display at Buckingham Palace.

She will trigger the lighting of the final beacon by placing a huge crystal into a specially designed pod.

The network of beacons that will criss-cross the UK have been placed on historic landmarks, hill-top vantage points and famous mountains.

More than 600 church tower beacons will also mark the occasion.

Many communities around the country are organising special events around their beacon lighting, with fireworks and music.

At Abbey Park, in Leicester, there will be a lantern parade and fire sculptures with a beacon due to be lit at 22:15 BST.

A 30ft (9.1m) wooden sculpture of Britannia will be set alight at 22:15 BST in East Hoathly, in East Sussex.

Three weeks of work and three lorry loads of wood have gone into making the female warrior, complete with trident, shield and helmet.

In Nottingham civil engineering students tested their skills by making and installing a beacon.

The beacon was manufactured at New College Nottingham and put up in Sneinton where it will be lit at 22:00 BST.

In the Yorkshire Dales an Army helicopter was called in to transport wood to build beacons.

Soldiers from the Army Air Corps used a Lynx helicopter to carry loads of timber to hilltops in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

Kent will see the most beacons lit with 182 applications made to the event organisers.

The Humber Estuary will be the scene of a Jubilee flotilla at 18:00 BST, more than 115 years after the venue hosted a similar event to celebrate 60 years of Queen Victoria's reign.

The parade of sail will feature a vessel for each year since the Queen's accession to the throne.

At 22:00 BST beacons will be lit across the Humber Bridge.

Hadrian's Wall, the north west frontier of the Roman Empire, will be lit up simultaneously at 22:12 BST by 60 beacons which will be hosted by communities across the World Heritage Site, from South Shields to Ravenglass.

In Manchester a "green beacon" will be lit in a hospital car park.

The University Hospital of South Manchester commissioned a sculptor to produce a beacon made of recycled hospital beds which resembles a giant stylised crown measuring 5ft wide, with towering spikes over 12ft high.

A green flame devised by TV special effects experts will light up the beacon.

The beacons will be lit from around the world from Tonga to the Falkland Islands and Malta to Kenya”

Religious buildings planning to light beacons include the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Hindu Temple, in Oldbury, in the West Midlands, and St Mary's Parish Church, an Anglican church in Moseley, Birmingham.

Representatives from charity Cancer Research UK will scale England's tallest mountain Scafell Pike to light a beacon.

In Worcestershire the Great Malvern Jubilee Picnic will take place before a beacon is lit on top of the Malvern Hills by 77-year-old Tony Cotgreave who as a teenage Scout lit the bonfire built to celebrate the Queen's Coronation in 1953.

In Kent the South Foreland Lighthouse, which used to warn ships away from a treacherous stretch of coast, will be lit for the first time in more than 20 years.

Bidding to have the highest beacons will be Somerset where six hot air balloons will provide a sound and light show from Solsbury Hill, in Batheaston.

The Queen's Pageantmaster, Bruno Peek, said he had been "overwhelmed" by the response to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Beacons event.

He said: "Our aim was to light 2,012 beacons because 2,012 have never been lit before, but by the end of the night we will have over 4,000 - that's truly amazing.

"The beacons will be lit from around the world from Tonga to the Falkland Islands and Malta to Kenya."

See all the latest Diamond Jubilee news and features at bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee

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BBC News, 2012. Diamond Jubilee: Thousands of beacons to be lit [Online] (Updated 4th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1432622/Diamond-Jubilee-Thousands-of-beacons-to-be-lit [Accessed 16th Apr 2014]

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