Jubilee Beacon lights up the Buckingham skyline

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Around 250 people gathered on the green in front of Buckingham Parish Church to watch the lighting of the town’s Jubilee Beacon.

The symbolic event on Thursday, June 2, was part of a chain of beacon-lighting that stretched across the UK and the Commonwealth in honour of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, giving communities the chance to join together to pay tribute to her Majesty.

Buckingham’s beacon had been set up on the roof of St Peter & St Paul’s Church, overlooking the town.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The previous day, a small team of people with a good head for heights carried out a trial run in daylight, after accessing the roof and carrying up two very heavy gas cylinders plus the beacon and associated equipment.

The Jubilee Beacon on top of the church roofThe Jubilee Beacon on top of the church roof
The Jubilee Beacon on top of the church roof

Rector of Buckingham Will Pearson-Gee said: “Access to the roof is not for the faint-hearted – the spiral staircase is very narrow and the ladder leading to the hatch bounces more vigorously than the Millennium Bridge.”

The church provided drinks and sausage rolls for the residents assembled on the green and before the ceremony Rev Pearson-Gee spoke about the history of beacons in this country, before handing over to the Mayor of Buckingham, Margaret Gateley, who paid tribute to Her Majesty.

At 9.45pm, everyone joined in a countdown and the beacon was lit by the team up on the roof.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rev Pearson-Gee led the crowd in singing the national anthem and people then stayed on chatting in the warm evening.

The beacon beside the church spireThe beacon beside the church spire
The beacon beside the church spire

On Sunday, June 5, a Civic Service was held at Buckingham Parish Church to give thanks for the life and reign of Her Majesty, introduced by the town mayor.

Parishioner June Lewis, aged 97, shared her memories of watching the coronation on a small black and white TV in the window of a shop.

Rector Rev Will Pearson-Gee spoke about The Queen’s long service, her strong Christian faith and her life of self-sacrifice, and the choir sang a specially written anthem using words collected from some of Her Majesty’s speeches, during which the congregation watched a slide show of the Queen throughout her life, including photographs from her visit to Buckingham in 1996.