Royal Diamond Jubilee beacons will light-up the skies of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

More than 1,000 beacons already signed-up across the Commonwealth

Plans to light-up the skies for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee are on track with more than 1,000 places across the Commonwealth already signed-up for a beacon.

Norfolk isn't quite leading the way - but so far has 40 beacons planned and organisers hope it will have 60 in total - one for each year of the Queen's reign.

Bruno Peek, of Gorleston, is the official organiser of the project and said he had been dealing with up to 40 requests a week to be part of the beacon lighting in June next year.

He aims to have 2,012 beacons glowing on the day - which would be the most ever lit in a chain, and 1,069 venues have already signed-up.

Mr Peek said he was hoping Norfolk, with its strong Royal connections through Sandringham House, would have 60 beacons and lead the way in the celebration.

'It would be nice if that were the case, but it is going really well so far,' he said.

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The chain of beacons will begin life in the islands of Tonga before spreading across the world and to the UK. The Queen will light a beacon for the nation at Buckingham Palace, which will be the setting for a concert in her honour on Monday, June 4.

While Norfolk has 40 venues so far, Suffolk has 26 and Lincolnshire 32 - but Cambridgeshire is lagging behind a little with only eight.

Devon is ahead of the game with 51 while Kent has 47 - but there is time for Norfolk to claim to the top spot.

Mr Peek said he hoped communities would use the beacons as a focus for their own celebrations to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen.

Lowestoft, as the country's most easterly town, will be among the first places to light beacons.

St David's in Wales; Britain's northernmost island, and the church of St Clement's on the island of Jersey mark the remaining three compass points to form the UK part of the chain. Specially-commissioned portable tower beacons will be available for churches, castles and other high-points so they can be part of it.

Mr Peek, already known widely for his part in similar such patriotic events in the past, has also received permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to put a beacon on the roof of Lambeth Palace for the first time in its history.

The beacons can be either bonfire-style or the specially commissioned versions which have been deisgned to go on tall structures.

Mr Peek, a pageant-master, was responsible for golden jubilee beacon festivities in 2002, a role that led to him being made a member of the Royal Victorian Order.

An in-depth interview with Mr Peek about the project features in the EDP Norfolk Magazine which comes out on Wednesday.

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