The Queen’s 90th birthday is being marked in style in Fylde today.
Lytham St Annes town crier Colin Ballard is proclaiming the health of Her Majesty in St Annes Square at 11am and Lytham Piazza at noon ahead of a beacon being lit at 7.45pm at Fairhaven Lake – one of more than 900 which are set to be illuminated this evening to mark the historic event.
The celebrations come just over six months since Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-serving monarch in UK history, a landmark which also prompted special proclamations in Lytham and St Annes town crier Colin.
His ‘cry’ today is: “Greetings from the Manor of Lytham and St Annes.
“Be it known and celebrated that today is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.
“Ma’am. We the people of The Fylde Coast do send you our hearty greetings and congratulations.
“Three Cheers for Her Majesty. God save the Queen,”
The Fairhaven Lake beacon will be lit tonight by Fylde mayor Coun Peter Hardy, who said: “The Queen has done a marvellous job in uniting the nation for 64 years and I’m confident that hundreds of Fylde residents will want to turn out and celebrate her birthday at the beacon.
“Burning beacons go back a long way in English history and I can think of few better ways for residents to come together and wish happy birthday to the Queen.”
The mayor’s special guest at tonight’s ceremony will be Ansdell resident Selina Bentley, who herself turns 90 on Monday.
Selina will be chauffeured to and from the beacon in the mayor’s limousine and once at Fairhaven she will be greeted by town crier Colin Ballard before singer Duggie Chapman leads the crowd in singing the National Anthem and Happy Birthday.
Selina’s name was put forward after Coun Hardy asked to hear of any local women who shared their 90th birthday with the Queen.
The mayor said: “Mrs Bentley almost shares her birthday with the Queen so she will be my guest – she’ll be Fylde’s own Queen for the evening which I hope will make her birthday something special for her.”
Selina said: “I am very proud that I was born so close to the Queen and I am really looking forward to the beacon-lighting ceremony.”
Tonight’s proceedings start at 7.15pm and free parking will be available at Stanner Bank and St Paul’s Avenue car parks.