Celebrations in Beccles and Bungay to mark Queen's reign
PUBLISHED: 15:35 10 September 2015 | UPDATED: 16:57 10 September 2015
The bells of St Michael's Church rang out over Beccles as the town held a low-key celebration to mark the Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom.
Around 50 people gathered to hear speeches from mayor Hugh Taylor and Beccles youth champion Sam Kenward yesterday morning.
Mr Kenward praised Her Majesty’s ‘pride, dedication and passion’ in his speech, which was followed by words of commemoration and prayers led by Bishop Gavin Reid.
Following singing of the national anthem and Rule Brittania, the event finished with three cheers for Her Majesty.
Mr Taylor said: “We’ve done the right thing by her Majesty and our town.
“I feel, and I hope others will agree, that we didn’t go overboard but we did mark what many people believe is a very important moment in our history.
“And in April next year we hope we will do something to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.”
Buckingham Palace has calculated that Queen Victoria reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes, taking into account 63 years, 15 leap days, additional months and days and the precise timings of her accession and death. Queen Elizabeth II has now overtaken that record, taking into account 63 years plus 16 leap days, additional months and days and the timing of her father, George VI’s, death.
The special occasion was also celebrated in Bungay with the lighting of a beacon last night.
About 500 people enjoyed an evening of entertainment and music for all ages against the backdrop of the twin castle gate towers.
Town reeve Terry Reeve, who organised the event with his social committee, read a proclamation at the start of the event and added: “On this auspicious occasion we offer Her Majesty the local congratulations of the town and citizens of Bungay.”
The celebrations included a children’s competition to paint portraits of the Queen, which attracted over 90 entries. The winners were Oliver Dwyer in the four to six category, with Dan King as runner up, and Molly Moyse in the seven to 10 category, with Marissa Hammond as runner up.
Other entertainment included a Punch and Judy Show, music from the Bungay High School rock band Highs and Lows and singing from Bungay Choral Society under conductor Jason Collins.
The evening finished with the gathered crowds enthusiastically waving Union Flags and singing Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia, followed by the lighting of the beacon by Mr Reeve and town mayor Olly Barnes, with the National Anthem, three cheers for the Queen and fireworks.
•To coincide with the occasion, our sister paper the Eastern Daily Press has published a special tribute to Elizabeth II available for £9.95 from local newsagents and the Beccles and Bungay Journal office.