The BBC will be heading to the village of Bembridge next week to film a variety of community groups getting ready to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in style, ahead of a beacon lighting ceremony on 2nd June.
Footage captured on the day will be broadcast as a part of the Jubilee beacon lighting programme on the evening of Thursday 2nd June, where more than 1,500 hundred beacons will be lit across the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, UK overseas territories and in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth.
The BBC community film will include, amongst others, children from Bembridge Primary School with their preparations including getting ready for the Crown and Tiara competition, Scouts from 1st Bembridge troop, the village’s 2 WIs who are organising special Jubilee goody bags to give out to residents of care homes and other local Jubilee organisers, such as Parish Councillor Lady Brabazon and beacon organiser, Andrew Holman.
The Bembridge beacon organisers have been given a special dispensation by the Queen’s Jubilee Pageantmaster, Bruno Peek, to light their beacon 30 minutes early at 21:15 to enable it to be filmed and uploaded in time for the national and commonwealth coverage at 21:45.The beacon at Culver Down is of historic significance being one of the main ones used to warn of the Spanish Armada in 1588 when a fleet of 130 Spanish warships sailed to try and invade England and overthrow Queen Elizabeth I. When spotted, these beacons, manned by full-time watchers, were lit one after the other to send the warning signal of invasion to London.
The current Culver Beacon at the tip of the National Trust’s land above the old gun emplacements is believed to have been installed for the Queen’s first Jubilee event in 1977. It has been used for anniversaries and celebrating the winter solstice ever since. Sadly, the ravages of the salt-laden South Westerlies hitting Culver Down for the past 50 years had taken their toll and the whole top of the post and bottom of the basket needed replacing. It has now been totally refurbished and reinstalled on Culver, thanks to the generosity of Kevin Coghlan transport, The Forge at East Cowes and Dave, the local harbour welder.
The evening now starts at the earlier time of 20:45 with the specially appointed for the day, Bembridge Town Crier, Robert Barnes, in full Scottish regalia, undertaking the Royal Proclamation. This is followed by local GP Dr Cooney, also clad in tartan, playing the specially commissioned piece ‘Diu Regnare’.
A unique Bugle Call ‘Majesty’, played by Irene Burrow, will herald the Beacon lighting ceremony for the BBC and the blessing of the Jubilee event by the Rev. Steve Daughtery. For the lighting itself, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Caroline Peel will be joined by a local scout chosen for their outstanding community work. They will light the torch that will be stretched up to the beacon at 21:15. This will be accompanied by The Shiners singing ‘A Life Lived with Grace’.
Following the lighting will be the ceremonial cutting of the Beacon Tart by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant. This will be baked to the Jubilee recipe for English tarts by The Culver Haven Inn. The tarts, 7 in total, will then cut into 10 pieces representing the 70 years of the Queen’s reign and will be handed out to people on the night.
The whole 4 days of the Jubilee are packed with other events including a street fair on Thursday afternoon, open gardens, craft fair, church flower festival, concerts, the Bembridge Burlesque dancers at the Village Inn, a harbour day on the Saturday with a parade of Bembridge scows and various children’s games and activities, as well as the chance to visit a houseboat for cup of tea to watch the boats go by.
To catch up on event details and times see the Bembridge Community Notice Board on Facebook or the Parish Council website – www.bembridgepc.org.uk.
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