On Thursday 2 June, when the country celebrates Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, her Pageant Master, Bruno Peek, hopes to see a special focus on Hadrian’s Wall – hopefully with the help of local farmers.
That night, and for the final time in Her Majesty’s reign, more than 1,500 beacons will be lit across the UK and further afield to mark the start of the official Platinum Jubilee weekend.
Local authorities, community groups, visitor attractions, landowners and farmers are being encouraged to host an event to celebrate the occasion – one that culminates in the lighting of either a gas-fired beacon, a brazier or bonfire.
The community celebrations will begin in the afternoon, with Town Criers across the UK announcing the Proclamation. Then from 9.35pm pipers across the country will play in unison and five minutes later, buglers will announce the lighting of the beacons at 9.45pm, accompanied by choirs of all shapes and sizes singing ‘Song for the Commonwealth’.
In Cumbria though, Hadrian’s Wall has been identified as a key location for showcasing the beacons.
For that reason, the aim is to light those near Hadrian’s Wall at 10pm, uniquely highlighting the frontier of the Roman Empire to a world-wide audience in its 1,900th anniversary year.
We hope to see lots of small celebrations within the local community rather than trying to put beacons on the Wall itself, which we know from previous experience can be problematic.
We would therefore love to see the farming community involved – either organising your own private event or joining in with your local community celebrations.
The Solway Firth in Cumbria is the only part of the Wall which is actually on the Scottish Border and the beacons will not stop there. We are stretching beyond towards the coast at Muncaster where many Roman fortifications once stood.
The official guide to taking part outlines the various ways you can get involved and this is available to download from the Jubilee Beacons website.
This will be a special event, marking Her Majesty’s 70th year as our Monarch and Head of the Commonwealth – a feat no previous monarch has achieved. We really hope this will inspire farmers to support the call for help to create an unbroken line of beacons stretching from South Shields to the Solway Firth.