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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Beacons will light up the Jubilee
The Queen on her Jubilee tour
The Queen will light a national beacon
A glittering night of celebrations across London and the south east for the Golden Jubilee will culminate in the capital with the lighting of a national beacon by the Queen.

At 2245BST on 3 June, the monarch will light the touch paper to her very own beacon beside the Queen Victoria memorial outside Buckingham Palace.


Beacons are being lit in four zones across the UK ... ending with the Queen lighting the national beacon at 2245

Clive Naish
Golden Jubilee
The event will be the finale to the sparking of more than 1,800 beacons across the UK, the Channel Islands, the Commonwealth and throughout the globe, as far afield as Antarctica.

From 2130 in Fair Isle, down towards the south, the map of Britain and Northern Ireland will be dotted with firelight as members of the public ignite their beacons.

In London alone, some 28 beacons will be lit at about 2230 with many people using the opportunity to complement the occasion with a street party.

Butchers' beacon

A free standing beacon will kick off celebrations at Covent Garden Market, which will include opera, street performers, children's workshops and a theatre production of Romeo and Juliet.

Meanwhile, the Lord Mayor of the City of London will be lighting the Golden Jubilee Bartholomew Fair and Street Party beacon at the old Smithfield Market at 2230.

Martyn Craddock, one of the organisers, said there would be a two day street party at Smithfield with 72 foot stalls, a 1950s Big Band plus brass band: " Everyone's welcome to come along."

The Sikh Sri Guru Singh Sabha Temple expects hundreds of people to join in the fun at the lighting of its beacon in Park Avenue, Southall.

Multi-cultural fun

Temple secretary Pus Pinder said: "We will be serving vegetarian Indian food for visitors to the temple.

"So many people say they will be coming over. We reckon there could be more than 600 attending.

"We are welcoming all religions, but we haven't decided yet who will light the beacon."

In the south east, where lighting times start at 2215, Rottingdean Parish Council and Rottingdean & Saltdean Lions Club plan to light a beacon in the village.

South's best view?

Locals will be able to enjoy a fair, children's party and fireworks.

Further inland, in Firle, near East Sussex's county town of Lewes - famed for its bonfire nights - the parish jubilee committee claims views from its bonfire beacon will be the best in Sussex.

Fireworks will take off in conjunction with beacon lighting and the Eastbourne Scottish Pipe Band will provide the musical entertainment.

Over in Oxford, a permanent beacon brazier will be lit at Castle Mound as part of a three day festival based on the heritage of the city.

The penultimate beacon lighting event will take place on top of St James' Palace, London, the site of an Armada beacon.

Clive Naish, a Golden Jubilee spokesman, said: "It will be a fabulous event.

Partying Antarctic style

"Beacons are being lit in four zones across the UK, starting in Scotland and working throughout the country, ending with the Queen lighting the national beacon at 10.45pm.

"We are starting in Scotland at 9.30pm because the light goes more quickly the further north you go.

"The beacons will not be lit in sequence, but we have given out the suggested times, depending on which area you are in.

"Beacons are being lit all over the world, from the Artic to the Antarctic, in Kenya, Nepal and the Scilly Islands."

The Golden Jubilee events will end in London on Tuesday, 4 June, with a ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral and carnival processions in the Mall in the afternoon.

A fly past of 27 aircraft, starting with a C17 Globemaster and ending with Concorde and the Red Arrows, will be the largest to cross London since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

A full list of events can be found at the Golden Jubilee Summer Party website.


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