Beacon lighting to mark Queen's 90th birthday

LYME REGIS will join with the nation in lighting a beacon to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Union Jack flag in Lyme Regis

The beacon will be lit on Church Cliff Beach on Thursday evening as part of a national trail of more than 1,100 flames.

The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Cllr Owen Lovell, will light the beacon at 9pm to mark the important milestone in the Queen’s life.

Beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories, with the first one being lit by the Queen at Windsor Castle.

The celebrations will begin in Lyme Regis at 8.30pm when Lyme Regis Town Band will play in Theatre Square, joined by town crier Alan Vian as the master of ceremonies.

The public will have the perfect vantage point from the square to watch the beacon lighting on the beach, accompanied by the band playing Happy Birthday, followed by the National Anthem.

If it rains, the band will play in the Marine Theatre.

The Mayor, Cllr Owen Lovell said: “There is a long tradition in this country of celebrating Royal occasions with the lighting of beacons.

“I am delighted to have the honour of lighting the Lyme Regis beacon to mark this very special occasion and hope to see many of the town’s residents at Thursday’s celebrations.

“It will be quite a spectacle to see the town’s beacon lit on the beach, which many people will know can usually be found near the Cobb Gate anchor displaying a floral arrangement.

“This is just the start of a whole series of events to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, with many more community events planned for June, including parties and cream teas. More details will be made available closer to the time.”

A birthday card has been sent to the Queen from the Mayor and town council on behalf of the town.

The town crier will make several proclamations around the town on Thursday, starting at the Guildhall at 11am.

Town crier, Alan Vian said: “It is a great honour to be able to announce notable royal events as town crier.

“None can be more special than announcing the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen and to share in the lighting of one of the 1,000 beacons to be lit in her honour on Thursday.”

Elsewhere in Dorset, beacons will be lit in Dorchester’s Salisbury Field, at the Nothe Fort in Weymouth, on Castle Hill in Shaftesbury, and the Thorncombe Beacon on the Golden Cap Estate.

For the first time in history, members of the Army Cadet Force will be lighting beacons on top of the four highest peaks in the United Kingdom – Ben Nevis, Mount Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Slieve Donard – to represent the youth of the nation.

The last major beacon celebration was on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on 4 June 2012.