West Norfolk celebrates the Queen’s 90th birthday

Borough Mayor Colin Manning lights the King's Lynn beacon marking the Queen 90th Birthday on the Sou

Borough Mayor Colin Manning lights the King's Lynn beacon marking the Queen 90th Birthday on the South Quay. Picture: Matthew Usher.

'He has never had so many woman kiss him as he had today', said the proud daughter of Raymond Wilson, who today celebrated his own 90th birthday as well as the Queen's by helping to light the beacon at Downham Market.

Mr Wilson, of Welney, joined Margaret Wells, 92 of Downham Market, and Edith Nunn, who is in her 90s also of Downham Market, on a sunny evening at St Edmunds Church to wish the Queen a big happy birthday.

Hillcrest School Choir kicked off the celebrations with a range of songs from Avicii 'Wake me up' to B*Witched 'Blame it on the weatherman'.

After, Father James Mather, rector of the church, led prayers.

Watched on by around 100 well-wishes, the mayor of Downham Market, councillor John Fox, climbed aboard a cherry picker to ignite the beacon, which stands overlooking the town.

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Mr Fox said: 'There is a first time for everything in this world and it's a first time for me to do anything like this, and I think it's marvellous. We can't all go to London or Windsor but we can all celebrate here. The weather has been a bonus, had she been born a few days later we might have had rain or snow.'

Downham Market Swing Orchestra played 'Happy Birthday' and the National Anthem before taking the evening away with some more upbeat hits.

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Jean Grace, the daughter of Mr Wilson - who was presented with a birthday cake - said: 'It has been lovely for him because he's such a quiet man. It's so lovely for him to have a big celebration on his birthday. He had never had so many women kiss him as he had today.'

Mr Wilson said: 'I have had a lovely day, it has been beautiful.'

He added he would have liked to have gone up in the cherry picker himself to light the beacon.

Ms Wells, who joined Mr Wilson in having a turn to hold the taper, said: 'It's been a lovely day and I think we need more celebrations like this in the town, it's great. The committee really got us involved.'

In King's Lynn west Norfolk mayor Colin Manning lit the beacon by the quayside.

He said: 'It is my pleasure and privilege to be lighting this beacon on behalf of the people of King's Lynn and west Norfolk, as a token of our heartfelt appreciation of the Queen's lifetime of service to us all.

'Since time immemorial, the light of beacons has relayed important messages across the land. This message we proclaim with the greatest pride and affection: Your Majesty, we all wish you a very happy birthday.'

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