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Guildford Lions Delighted With Torchlight Procession And Lighting Of Beacon

Published on: 26 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 27 Apr, 2016

Guildford Lions logo

Guildford’s torchlight procession and lighting of a beacon on The Mount to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday has been hailed a great success by the Guildford Lions Club who organised the event in conjunction with the borough council.

Members of the club thank all those who took part.

Here, the club’s president, David Kitching, reflects on the evening and notes its and the Lions Club International’s long association with royalty and the Queen.

He said: “The Guildford Lions were there [on April 21], as they are for many civic events, helping with the organisation and supporting on the day. Our torchlit procession and the lighting of a beacon was one of a thousand lit worldwide.

“The last time such an occasion took place at The Mount was to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 and again, the council turned to Guildford Lions Club for support.

Guildford Lions Club volunteers lead the procession with Mayor Nicki Nelson-Smith.

Guildford Lions Club volunteers lead the procession with the Mayor of Guildford, Nikki Nelson-Smith.

“The principal patron of Lions Clubs International in the UK was the Queen Mother. The current Lions patron is the Countess of Wessex, who is also a member of Wokingham Lions Club.

“In the Queen’s 70th year, she visited the Royal Surrey County Hospital and Guildford Lions met her on that occasion. In her 80th year she visited Guildford again and had lunch at the Guildhall with the Lions president at the time.

“So Guildford Lions are especially proud to be involved in Guildford’s recognition of her 90th birthday.

“The club put together a small team to work with the council and other bodies including the British Red Cross, Guildford Street Angels and CSP Security to make the Queen’s birthday event happen in Guildford and in style.”

Torches provided by the Guildford Lions Club were lit up outside of the Guildhall. The torches which came from Germany, were made from a high quality wax.

Torches provided by the Guildford Lions Club were lit up outside of the Guildhall. The torches were made from a high quality wax and were imported from Germany.

Mr Kitching said that planning for the event started in February and an early decision was to make it a free event, open to all.

He said: “We had to do the best we could within a limited budget. But we also saw it as an ideal opportunity to make it fun and raise some charitable funds through the sale of our torches, as we do on our fireworks night.

“The Queen’s pageant master provided a guide as to timing with the aim of the country being at ‘one’ on the night when the beacons were lit.

Guildfordians help each other to light up their torches at the start of the procession from the Guildhall to the Mount.

Guildfordians help each other to light up their torches at the start of the procession from the Guildhall to The Mount.

“As with any public activity a major consideration was ensuring the safety of those attending and this was of particular importance given the ongoing sett replacement work in the High Street.

“The council installed the beacon and water barrels while the Lions supplied the torches and the gas for the beacon together with 22 volunteer marshals.

“With the local media including The Guildford Dragon NEWS promoting the event, it was a great success with an estimated 400 people attending and 100 torches being sold.

“We are very grateful to everyone who took part in this memorable occasion. All the money raised by the Guildford Lions will be used to benefit Guildfordians and we very much look forward to working on future community ventures with Guildford Borough Council.”

Click here for The Guildford Dragon NEWS’ report of the event.

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test One Response to Guildford Lions Delighted With Torchlight Procession And Lighting Of Beacon

  1. Pauline Surrey Reply

    April 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    And very much enjoyed by all participants (from all over the world, incidentally, too.)

    Thank you, Lions, for putting the event on, and giving us a chance to celebrate together, with the added bonus of the splendid view of London from The Mount.

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