Crowds gathered to see the lighting of beacons across Purbeck including at Durlston Castle and Studland to mark 70 years of the Queen’s reign.
This was part of a network of more than 2,000 beacons lit across the UK by community groups and organisations at 9.45 pm on Thursday 2nd June 2022. In addition, beacons were lit in all 54 Commonwealth capitals.
At Durlston Castle, Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell amuses Swanage Town Mayor councillor Tina Foster
Chair of Dorset Council councillor Val Pothecary chats to Swanage resident John Corben
The beacon overlooked the sea towards Swanage
At Durlston Castle on a promontory overlooking the sea towards Swanage, a beacon was lit by the Swanage Town Mayor councillor Tina Foster, the chair of Dorset Council councillor Val Pothecary and the Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell.
The event was accompanied by piper Maximilian Yeo who played the specially composed Diu Regnare and bugler Elizabeth Carter from the Durnovaria Silver Band, who played Majesty and the National Anthem.
Crowds had gathered to witness the lighting of the beacon at Durlston
Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell who is the Queen’s representative in the county, said as the beacon was about to be lit:
“We all owe Her Majesty so very much. I know that we in our beautiful county will be in the forefront of the celebrations, with towns, parishes and indeed all communities throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the joyful festivities.
“We will be celebrating 70 years of extraordinary, determined and long service by a uniquely gifted and dedicated monarch. A monarch who told us what she was going to do with her life on her 21st birthday and has so far exceeded all expectations – God save the Queen!”
The beacon overlooked a spectacular view
“Our nation is truly blessed”
The chair of Dorset Council councillor Val Pothecary added:
“The beacons are paying tribute to Her Majesty, and in recognition of the Queen’s long and selfless service.
“Our nation is truly blessed to have a monarch who is so dedicated to the service of her people, and I am delighted that we in Dorset, are able to celebrate this wonderful occasion by lighting our beacon at Durlston.”
The beacon at Durlston was lit at 9.45 pm, at the same time as all the others across the UK
A large crowd had gathered to watch
A large number of people had made it to Durlston Country Park and had gathered to see the spectacle.
Welcoming those who had come, Swanage Town Mayor councillor Tina Foster said:
“We are so proud to have you all here to witness the lighting of the beacon and celebrate the long reign of Her Majesty.
“The Queen and I go back a long way… I was born 10 days after the day she acceded the throne, so I’ve known her for a long time!
“My son-in-law guarded her at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. And as many of you may know, my husband was the Queen’s postman at Windsor Castle. So I’d just like to say, let’s give a big Swanage cheer to Her Majesty!”
Studland beacon before it was lit
And Studland beacon after it was lit
Studland had a traditional bonfire beacon
From the Durlston beacon, the Studland beacon on top of Ballard Down was visible, as were the fireworks over Bournemouth.
The Studland beacon was a traditional bonfire that could be seen for miles, in contrast to the more modest gas fired beacon at Durlston, although that too was very visible.
Doris Royal lighting the beacon
The person asked to light the beacon at Studland was the appropriately named Doris Royal, who is the out-going chair of Studland WI.
There was a barbecue run by the Wonderful Studland Ladies and refreshments organised by the Old Harry Bar. The bugle call ‘Majesty was played by Ruben Bennett and A Song for the Commonwealth was performed by St Nicholas’ Church Choir, followed by the National Anthem.
Fireworks over Bournemouth could be viewed from the beacons at Durlston and Studland