BEACONS are to blaze on fell tops across Cumbria and church bells will ring out as towns and villages join in the celebrations for The Queen’s 90th birthday.

The focus of the national festivities is this evening (Thursday, April 21), when most people are expected to make merry for the monarch.

Tonight the Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will light the principal beacon at Windsor Castle.

This will be followed by the lighting of more than 1,000 beacons being lit throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to commemorate the landmark birthday.


Beacons will be lit at churches, on farms, country parks, village greens and on country estates.

Lighthouses, National Trust and English Heritage properties are also taking part.

Members of the Cumbria Army Cadet Force will be taking a special gas fuelled beacons to the top Scafell Pike.

The beacon at the top of Kendal Castle will be lit by two cubs from the 1st Kendal Scout Group at approximately 8.15pm.

The scout group was flooded out of its premises during December’s storms and has only recently been able to return to its headquarters.

The cubs lighting the beacon will be accompanied by their cub leader, Ashley Henderson, and Kendal’s town crier Richard Matthews, who will read a proclamation at the castle to mark the Queen’s birthday.

In Casterton Henry Bowring, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, has invited the community to again build a beacon on Brownthwaite, the highest peak above the village.

Beacons have been lit on Brownthwaite in celebration for many years, the last time it happened was for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. As an alternative to the traditional beacon, there will be gas beacons available, at a cost, but these will need transporting with the gas up the fell.

At St James’ Parish Church, Clapham, members of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers will attempt to ring a full peal of 5,040 changes on Friday April 22, starting at 10am.

If successful it will take approximately two-and-three-quarter hours to complete and will be the first ever full peal rung at the church.

In Brigsteer villagers will light a beacon next to the Lumley Fee Bunkhouse and Helsington Church overlooking the Lyth Valley. The evening will start with a barbecue at 7pm organised by the Wheatsheaf Inn in conjunction with the Helsington and Brigsteer Parish Council and the beacon lighting will take place at 8pm.

At Selside a beacon will be lit on Whiteside at dusk, approximately 8.30pm, and the celebrations will start from Watchgate at 7pm.

Heversham will be staging a pudding party at the Athenaeum on April 21, 5.30pm to 6.45pm. This will be followed by the lighting of the beacon on Heversham Head at 8.30pm.

Supplies of clean, dry, nail free wood be left at Whinfell, Woodhouse Lane. Warton Parish Council invites people to the lighting of the beacon on Warton Crag on April 21.

Those attending should meet outside the George Washington at 6.30pm to walk up the crag and light the beacon at 7.30pm.

All are advised to wear suitable clothing and footwear; take along a torch but no dogs.

And a beacon will also blaze on moorland near Bentham after the Fourstones Estate gave permission and lighting up time will be 7.30pm on April 21. The beacon will be located close to the Great Stone, an Ice Age boulder on Burn Moor, two miles south of High Bentham.

There will also be one atop Orrest Head, overlooking Windermere.

The Prince of Wales has written a message to all beacon lighters, saying: “It is a wonderful gesture which I know has deeply touched Her Majesty.”