Beacon celebrations are set for the Queen’s big day

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Erewash Borough Council will host two beacon-lighting events as part of the worldwide celebration to officially commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The beacons will be lit simultaneously at 7.30pm on April 21, on the Market Place in both Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres.

Celebrations in both towns will begin at 7.15pm with musical performances by Ilkeston Brass and Long Eaton Silver Prize Band ahead of the lighting of the beacons – which will be a landmark occasion for the country.

Once the birthday beacons have been lit, the Rev Peter Davey, the Mayor’s Chaplain and Bishop Roger Jupp will both offer prayers and a blessing. To finish the evening celebrations, the bands will play ‘Happy Birthday’ and end with the national anthem.

Beacons are to be lit throughout the United Kingdom and all the commonwealth countries in a united celebration of this important milestone in the Queen’s life.

The Beacon Project will form an important part of the 90th birthday festivities and the Queen has agreed to light the Principle Beacon at 7.15pm at Windsor Castle.

She will light the first of more than 1,000 beacons that evening, which will be followed by a royal walkabout in the town.

Later, members of the Army cadet force will take beacons to the top of the highest peaks of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Royal jubilees, coronations and birthdays have often been celebrated with the lighting of beacons.

The last such occasion was in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Val Custance, will be lighting the Ilkeston beacon and will be joined by the Mayor’s Cadets, while the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Abey Stevenson, will light the Long Eaton beacon.

Deputy leader of Erewash Borough Council and lead member for community engagement, Councillor Carol Hart, said: “We wanted to ensure that this council and our residents have the opportunity to share in what will be a memorable and historic occasion that we can all treasure.

“So we are delighted and honoured to have been granted permission to take part in the worldwide beacon-lighting celebrations. Join us in either Ilkeston or Long Eaton and help make it a proud and landmark Erewash celebration for this special occasion.”