Beacon lighting to mark the Queen's birthday


15 April 2016

A beacon is being lit in South Lakeland to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Chairman of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), Councillor Sylvia Emmott, has organised the lighting of a beacon at Kendal Castle on Thursday, 21 April.

The Kendal beacon will join more than 1,000 others being lit throughout the UK, Channel Iskands, Isle of Man, UK overseas territories and a Commonwealth country the same day to mark the monarch’s landmark birthday.

The Queen herself, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, will light the Principal Beacon on 21 April at Windsor Castle.

The Army Cadet Force are taking special gas-fuelled beacons to the top of the four highest peaks in the UK, with the 1st Battalion Highlanders cadets scaling Ben Nevis, the Clwyd and Gwynedd cadets going to the top of Snowden, Cumbria cadets will be climbing Scafell Pike and the 2nd Northern Ireland Battalion will do the honours at the summit of Slieve Donard.

The Kendal Castle beacon will be lit by two cubs from the 1st Kendal Scout Group, weather permitting, at approximately 8.15pm.

The scout group were flooded out of their premises during December’s storms and have only recently been able to return to their headquarters. The cubs lighting the beacon will be accompanied by their cub leader, Ashley Henderson, and Kendal’s town crier Richard Matthews, who will read a proclamation at the castle to mark the Queen’s birthday.

It is not intended that members of the public attend the actual beacon lighting at the castle but the location has been chosen so that the beacon will be visible over a wide area.

Councillor Emmott said: “I am delighted as chair of SLDC to have the honour of taking part in the lighting of the beacon to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

“I wish Her Majesty a very happy birthday and thank her for all her years of service to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

“We have made arrangements to escort a small group of people up to the beacon for the lighting, but we wouldn’t encourage members of the public to walk up to the castle itself on 21 April as it may well be getting dark and, especially if the weather isn’t great, the conditions under foot could be a bit slippy and we don’t want anyone to injure themselves.

“However, we know from previous experience of lighting a beacon at the castle for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee that it makes a wonderful sight from lower ground and can be easily seen at quite  distance, so we hope that people enjoy seeing the beacon on the Queen’s birthday.’’

Bruno Peek, Pageantmaster for the The Queen’s 90th Birthday Beacons, said: “It has been an enormous privilege to be able to organise this amazing community event to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. I am delighted to see so many different organisations playing their part.”