All fired up to book a place in history

Children from Page Hill Infant School (now Buckingham Primary Schoo) celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Children from Page Hill Infant School (now Buckingham Primary Schoo) celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.
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IS your village going to light up the sky with a beacon for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?

Buckingham has already registered to earn a place in history by lighting a beacon in Bourton Park for the Royal celebration in June, as have the villages of Akeley, Lillingstone Lovell and Mursley.

With little more than five months to go before the big day, chairman of Bucks County Council Mike Colston is urging other communities to get involved.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee beacons form part of a programme of events over the Jubilee weekend announced by Buckingham Palace.

To celebrate Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne, there will be an extra bank holiday on Tuesday, June 5. And to make it a long weekend, the late May bank holiday is being moved to Monday, June 4.

Beacons across the country will be lit between 10pm and 10.30pm on the Monday night, as The Queen lights the National Beacon in London.

All the beacon sites in the country will be listed in a book, to be given to The Queen after the event.

Church tower beacons will be lit on the battlements of the Tower of London, St James’s Palace and Lambeth Palace. Hadrian’s Wall Heritage are lighting 60 beacons along the length of Hadrian’s Wall.

And Bucks County Council wants to see a string of 60 Jubilee Beacons lit across the county in honour of Her Majesty’s big day.

So far, 21 villages in Bucks have registered to say they will build and light a beacon, out of 1,035 that have registered nationally. They will form part of a chain of at least 2,012 beacons across the UK.

Mr Colston said: “Sixty beacons is about one for every mile of Bucks from north to south.

“With more than 160 parishes in the county, we could be inundated with registrations.

“But I’d urge communities not to leave it to the next town or village – get cracking with your own!”

Mursley already has a full programme of events planned for the day, including a parade led by the Devil’s Horsemen pulling two royal carriages. Roads will be closed, with fairground rides, lantern making and maypole dancing.

Evening entertainment includes a special Royal show by the Devil’s Horsemen. Fire-eaters and stiltwalkers will join a torchlit procession to light the beacon on the ancient moat off Main Street at 10pm, returning to the sounds of resident opera singer Cheryl Hawkins and a ‘Last Night Of The Proms’ event.

Tickets for non-Mursley residents are available at £20 for adults and £10 for children from Sandra Doherty on 07886 357615.

Beacons must be registered by April 30. A guide to taking part can be downloaded from www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk