Portchester to hold castle beacon event

By Connor Steel

FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL have announced plans for a Platinum Jubilee Beacon event and activities on the grounds of Portchester Castle over the four-day Bank Holiday weekend, joining more than 1,500 to be lit across the country and follows the successful lighting event held in April 2016 for the Queen’s ninetieth birthday that saw hundreds from across the borough come together to celebrate.

The event will be held on June 2 (Thursday) and has been sponsored by Everyday Active, who will start an evening of free activities from 5pm. These include family games and competitions ranging from touch rugby, tug of war, an obstacle course, water balloon toss and even traditional egg & spoon races; with a range of prizes available to be won throughout for the winners and competitors.

Free face painting will further be provided by Kiddies Heaven and Twinkles Face Painting throughout the evening, whilst circus skill sessions and a teacup ride will no doubt be popular for all ages, These children activities will end to the public at 9pm to allow the lighting event to commence forty-five minutes later from Portchester Castle itself with health and safety for all involved being paramount.

It is hoped that the beacon lighting will be preceded by a piper who will play Stuart Liddell’s specially created tune for the Queen entitled ‘Diu Regnare’, before officially announcing the lighting at 9:45pm with a special bugle call to line with nationwide and worldwide events; although this added feature hasn’t yet been confirmed by organisers or sponsors at the time of writing.

Although visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the open spaces within the grounds of Portchester Castle, plenty of food and drink options will be available throughout the evening. This includes cakes, sausage rolls, pizza, burgers, tacos or fish and chips; whilst hot and soft drinks will be available to purchase from food vendors in attendance such as St Mary’s Tea Room.

Musical entertainment and patriotic themed songs will also be provided throughout the evening with performances from the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir, The Lindy Club, Fine Voice Academy, and the Rose & Thistle Pipe Band announced. More are likely to be confirmed over time and anybody interested in performing should contact the organisers at the email address seen below.

Free parking will be available at Portchester Precinct throughout the evening whilst Blue Badge holders are allowed to use the space outside the castle for easy access. However due to likely high demand visitors are encouraged to walk and cycle to the event where possible, with toilets open to the public just outside the castle walls by the car park.

If visitors have any questions about the event or are interested in performing / running a stall; they are asked to please contact the Council’s Leisure and Community Team by either calling 01329 236100 or emailing leisure@fareham.gov.uk. More information about other Queen Jubilee events in Fareham can be found here.

PICTURED BY FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL: Advertising poster design about event to be held in June.