Worcestershire marks royal milestone

The Worcestershire Beacon was lit yesterday (Thursday 21 April) as part of celebrations to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.

Over 1,000 beacons were lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK overseas Territories and the Commonwealth to celebrate the landmark. Beacons were also lit at Bromsgrove, Redditch, Worcester and National Trust properties Croome Park and Hanbury Hall, as well as other towns, parishes and local communities throughout Worcestershire.

The event was delivered by Worcestershire County Council, with support from Malvern Hills District Council, Malvern Hills Conservators and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

The lighting of the beacon attracted over 200 people to Worcestershire's highest point, the vast majority of whom braved the tough climb and high winds just to be a part of the spectacle. 

The Lord Lieutenant, Patrick Holcroft, led the ceremony on the top of the Malvern Hills, and lit the Beacon at 8.30pm.The Lord Lieutenant was joined by special guests including: The Chairman of Worcestershire County Council, Cllr Ian Hopwood; The Chairman of Malvern Hills District Council, Cllr Barbara Williams; Cllr Val Wood, Chairman of Wychavon District Council; and the Mayor of Malvern Town Council, Cllr Julian l'Anson.

Local opera singer Maria Moll started proceedings with Land of Hope and Glory and, after the Beacon was lit, led a public rendition of the National Anthem, followed by 'Happy Birthday Your Majesty'. Matthew Guy, one of the Lord-Lieutenant's Cadets, rounded off the event with Purcell's Trumpet Tune.

Alan Smith, Partnership Relationship Manager said: "We are delighted that Worcestershire was able to celebrate this milestone by continuing the tradition of lighting the Worcestershire Beacon, along with several other beacons across the County. Being part of a chain of over 1,000 beacons, stretching throughout the UK and overseas, gave a true sense of community to this wonderful occasion.

"We would like to thank Malvern Hills District Council, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and the Malvern Hills Conservators for their fantastic support throughout."

Mark Preece, Area Commander from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service added: "Our crews provided fire and trauma cover throughout the event, using our off road vehicles to access the Beacon. We were delighted to be asked to be involved in this event, hosted by Worcestershire County Council, to mark the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen."

Cllr Barbara Williams, Chairman of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “It was a wonderful occasion to be a part of and a fitting and memorable way to mark Her Majesty’s milestone birthday.”