Beacons light up West Norfolk for the Queen’s birthday

Borough Mayor Colin Manning lights the beacon to mark HM The Queen's 90th birthday. ANL-160422-075246009
Borough Mayor Colin Manning lights the beacon to mark HM The Queen's 90th birthday. ANL-160422-075246009

Never mind candles on a cake, the Queen’s 90th birthday was celebrated in style with beacons being lit up and down the country.

Lynn, Downham, Dersingham and Hunstanton all joined in the celebrations by lighting up the night skies on Thursday last week.

Beacon Lighting Event at St Edmund's Church Downham Market to mark HM The Queen's 90th Birthday
Singers from Hillcrest School entertain the crowd ANL-160422-084110009

Beacon Lighting Event at St Edmund's Church Downham Market to mark HM The Queen's 90th Birthday Singers from Hillcrest School entertain the crowd ANL-160422-084110009

Unlike the celebrations in Windsor, Downham mayor John Fox had no problem in lighting the town’s magnificent beacon.

Scores of people gathered in the grounds of St Edmund’s Church to watch as the flames danced in the metal basket.

A special guest to the ceremony was Raymond Wilson, who shared his 90th birthday with Her Majesty. The Welney man was given a birthday treat by lighting the rod, which was then used to light the beacon.

Mr Fox then climbed into a cherry picker to light the beacon, which had been set-up by Holly Landscapes.

Beacon Lighting Event at St Edmund's Church Downham Market to mark HM The Queen's 90th Birthday
90th birthday guest Raymond Wilson with the torch light getting the beacon lighting underway ANL-160422-084059009

Beacon Lighting Event at St Edmund's Church Downham Market to mark HM The Queen's 90th Birthday 90th birthday guest Raymond Wilson with the torch light getting the beacon lighting underway ANL-160422-084059009

Fr James Mather also recited a prayer.

Youngsters from Hillcrest Primary School entertained the crowds with their songs while Downham Swing Orchestra closed the proceedings.

Mr Fox said: “This was my final civic occasion as mayor and it was a superb way to end the year.

“For me it was an amazing experience to light the beacon and it was a fantastic view up there.

The 1st Sandringham Guides sang the National Anthem and Happy Birthday at the lighting ceremony

The 1st Sandringham Guides sang the National Anthem and Happy Birthday at the lighting ceremony

“I am proud the town was able to light its beacon.”

At the same time, a small crowd of well-wishers watched borough mayor 
Colin Manning light the beacon on the South Quay in Lynn.

Mr Manning said the ceremony was taking place as “a token of our heartfelt appreciation of the Queen’s lifetime of service to us all”.

The villagers of Dersingham also honoured the Queen’s birthday celebrations by lighting its beacon.

The honour fell to parish council chairwoman Sue Payne, who was helped by Leonor Andrews and Layla Mugaseth.

Other members of the 1st Sandringham Guides sang Happy Birthday and the National Anthem.