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Thursday, 30 May, 2002, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Skies light up on Queen's night
A bastion beacon alight
The Queen will light the last beacon in London
Wales' skies will glow red with the display of 99 beacons lit to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

The torches will shine on 3 June in a 1,800-strong worldwide beacon network to mark Elizabeth II's 50th year as Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II
Beacons are a symbol of the Queen's endurance
They are some of 282 commemorative events planned at towns and villages around Wales over the jubilee weekend.

An hour after the flames are stoked at 2145 BST, the Queen herself will light the final, national beacon at London.

It is a way for thousands of people to play their part in the event for their own special reasons.

Henry Chivers from Caerphilly, will help light a massive beacon in farmland half-way up the 999ft Mynyddislwyn mountain shared with fellow villagers.

With a close-knit local heritage society, he is using it as an opportunity to help finance a 10,000 print run for a book on the hill community's rich history.


Because we live on the side of a mountain, this is our equivalent of a street party

Henry Chivers
"Because we live on the side of a mountain, this is our equivalent of a street party, but our beacon will be seen for miles around," Mr Chivers, 54, told BBC News Online.

"We will be having a large bonfire party for 50 friends, relatives and villagers and will be taking donations."

But Mr Chivers - who, as a boy, partied at school for the Queen's Coronation in 1953 - does not expect a similar wave of emotion this around.

"We are not particularly royalist and I think she should hand it over to someone else now," he added.

"But there is nowhere near the same support; it has been very slack.

"We see it as an occasion to get people together again."

Some flags have started to crop up on various houses and streets, however.

Flags out

And different events including open-air concerts, raffles fetes and circus displays will be going on from Abergele to Wenvoe.

Prestatyn will be combining its classic car show with a jubilee party and Northop Hall in Mold is holding a family fun day in a typical programme.

Coordinated by the Golden Jubilee Summer Party organisation, beacons around the UK will be lit at different times to coincide with the falling of darkness.

And 40 countries around the world will be doing exactly the same when darkness falls.

The party organisation has urged people up and down the country to get involved.

A statement on its website reads: "Enthusiasm and interest is mounting as the weekend approaches.

"2002 marks the Golden Jubilee year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

"The occasion provides a unique and wonderful opportunity to celebrate this historic milestone - 50 Years as Monarch."


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