Jubilee Beacons to Shine Bright in South Tyneside
South Tyneside is gearing up to take part in the historic Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacons - the first special event celebrating Her Majesty The Queen's 70th year as Monarch.
The historic event on Thursday 2 June will see thousands of town criers, Pearly Kings and Queens, pipers, buglers and choirs performing, ahead of the lighting of more than 2,022 beacons through out the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories and within the Commonwealth countries.
Activities in South Tyneside will begin at 2pm, with a town crier outside South Shields Town Hall announcing a specially written proclamation heralding the lighting of the beacons later that day. The town crier will move on to Jarrow Town Hall and Whitburn.
Beacons in South Shields will be lit at around 9.50pm, as part of a special event involving the communities along the length of Hadrian's Wall.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "We are incredibly proud to be part of this special event for Her Majesty The Queen's 70th year as our Monarch and Head of the Commonwealth on her Platinum Jubilee.
"We're especially looking forward to seeing our communities coming together for this wonderful occasion filled with light, music and celebrations, and seeing some of our amazing young people playing an active role.
"As we light our beacons alongside the rest of the UK and Commonwealth, the event in South Tyneside really will be quite spectacular."
The Queen's Jubilee Beacons local event involves Hebburn, Jarrow and South Shields sea cadets passing a flame along a flotilla of boats on the River Tyne, between Hebburn Pontoon and Littlehaven Beach.
The flame will then be carried up to The Eye public art feature on Harbour Drive Promenade where 90-year-old Korean Army veteran Joseph Smith Bailes, who served with the 1st Duke of Wellington Regiment, will light a beacon.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay will then light the main beacon on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park.
Communities are being encouraged to join the celebrations from 9pm at the Lawe Top, where there will be a programme of activities.
Local choir, Choirmaster will sing the specially commissioned Song for Commonwealth.The event will also involve Westoe Brass Band, a trumpeter and piper Major Paul Hamilton playing Diu Regnare, a unique tune specially written for the occasion by Piper Major, Stuart Liddell, the world's leading piper, a new bugle call and the national anthem.
A film will also be screened showing the beacons being lit from east to west.
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacons and associated activities have been organised by Pageant master, Bruno Peek and his team.
Bruno said: "Building on a long tradition of lighting beacons to mark significant royal celebrations, more than 2,022 Jubilee Beacons will be lit across the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories and within the Commonwealth countries on the first evening of the four-day Jubilee Weekend.
"The Beacons will enable local communities to join together and pay tribute to Her Majesty as part of the official programme of events.
"For the first time, town criers, pipers, buglers and choirs from the UK and the Commonwealth will come together to join in the celebration in their own individual and special way.
"It is wonderful to see the range of support for beacon lighting, which will highlight both diversity and the unit of the nation and the Commonwealth.
"The Queen has lit up our lives for 70 years through her dedicated service and commitment. We would like to light up the nation and the Commonwealth in her honour."
Jane, Lady Gibson, Chair of Hadrian's Wall WHS Partnership Board, said: "Communities along the length of Hadrian's Wall are taking part in this unique celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee made even more significant to us as it falls in the same year as our Hadrian 1900 festival, commemorating Hadrian arriving in northern Britain to supervise the building of his Wall in Ad122."
The Queen's Jubilee Beacons event forms part of the official programme announced by Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee Weekend, 2 - 5 June.
Further details of the Queen's Jubilee Beacons is available at www.queensjubileebeacons.com