Queen’s birthday celebrations finish with a bang in Cromer
A spectacular firework display marked the end of a day of celebration in Cromer to honour the Queen's 90th birthday.
Hundreds of well-wishers, young and old alike, took part in a torch-lit procession from the town's Parish Church to the Old Lookout on the east cliff on Thursday night before Cromer mayor Tim Adams lit a beacon as part of the nationwide festivities.
However, the parade was delayed by half an hour to allow the display to be set against the backdrop of a night sky and ensure the day ended with a bang.
Earlier in the day, town crier Jason Bell, who read a message of thanks from Prince Charles, led a public chorus of Happy Birthday.
Reflecting on the festivities, Cromer mayor Tim Adams said: 'I'm very pleased with the turnout, we couldn't have hoped for more. I'm really proud Cromer could be part of this along with so many other towns and villages around Norfolk, and around the UK and Commonwealth.
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'It's really important to mark our Monarch's birthday for all she does and her connections to Norfolk. And people of all ages are here as well which is good to see.'
Among the crowd were children from 1st Cromer Beavers, which is affiliated with the Queen through the Baden-Powell movement. Leader Gary Newstead said: 'The children are loving it, it's part of the tradition of Scouting; they wanted to carry a torch but unfortunately they can't.'
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James Porter, vicar at Cromer Parish Church, also joined in the celebrations. He said: 'It's the first time I've been to something like this, I only started (here) seven months ago so it's great to be in with the community celebrating the Queen's birthday.
'I think it's great event for the community to come together and unite around a common purpose, and it's great that with the church in the middle of the town we can be the starting point for that and join in with everyone else in the celebrations.'
Local authorities around the UK will host lighting events throughout the country to create a network of flames to mark the Queen's birthday.
The beacons were specially built gas-fuelled structures, traditional bonfires or braziers on top of a tall wooden post.
At the Leas clifftop gardens, Sheringham, town mayor David Gooch spoke of the Queen's 'phenomenal' service at a beacon-lighting ceremony organised by Chamber of Trade members and town councillors.
A large crowd watched as Sheringham fire service crew manager Paul Richardson climbed a ladder carrying a flaming torch handed to him by Mr Gooch, to light the beacon sitting in a fire basket made by the North Norfolk Railway.
The plinth, which has a commemorative brass plaque, was made and donated by Norfolk Homes.
Mr Gooch, 74, remembered travelling to London as child, to celebrate the Queen's coronation in 1953.
'I was brought up to respect the monarch and that will never change,' he said. 'This is a unique occasion which celebrates everything that the oldest and longest-serving monarch in British history has done for the country.'
In Holt, mayor Duncan Baker lit the beacon on Shirehall Plain, accompanied by two local residents celebrating their 90th birthday this year.
The crowd of around 100 well-wishers then sang 'Happy Birthday' being addressed by Father Howard Stoker, the rector of Holt. He read a few prayers before the choir from Holt St Andrews Church brought the ceremony to a close with a rendition of God Save the Queen.
Councillor Baker said: 'It was a fitting tribute for the community of Holt, along with the council, to mark this milestone birthday like so many others, not just throughout the United Kingdom but all around the world.
'We were delighted to be involved with the thousands of other towns and villages in lighting a beacon. Tonight was the warm up to our main event on Sunday, June 12, where we will be having a 'bring and share' afternoon tea party on Church Street which we hope will be well attended by the community and bring lots of people together.
'We plan to have residents celebrating their 90th birthday, fun and games for children and even a cake baking competition.' And he added: 'There will then be a special commemorative service in St Andrews church in the evening.'
In Mundesley, former councillor Mike Strong, who served the parish for over 20 years, was invited to light a beacon before residents ended the night with a party in the Coronation Hall.