Published: February 2, 2012
Four days of Jubilee celebrations planned in Burnham and Highbridge

Four days of celebrations are to be held in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge this June to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The Town Council, local groups and residents have been working together for several months to compile a full diary of events over the extended holiday weekend from 2nd-5th June.

In addition to a new four-faced town clock being officially unveiled in Highbridge, a children’s parade will be held from Apex Park to the seafront, and commemorative mugs will be presented to every primary school child in the two towns.

The Town Council has allocated £9,000 towards the Jubilee celebrations, which will be spread over two years, equating to 65p per household per year, in order to ensure there is minimal impact on Burnham and Highbridge taxpayers.

Whilst the funds available are limited, the council's Jubilee Committee said this week it will be considering a limited number of applications for small grants of up to £100 from groups planning some form of lasting memorial for the Jubilee. Applications should be made through the Town Clerk's office.

The Jubilee Committee, under the chairmanship of councillor Neville Jones, is co-ordinating the four-day programme of events and commemorative projects.

Cllr Jones told "Now that the Jubilee celebrations are getting ever closer, I will be interested to see which street in either town will be the first to confirm that it will be organising a street party."

"I anticipate that there will be at least 20, most likely on Monday 4th June which will be a public holiday. It is the Town Council’s intention that the Mayor or one of his deputies will visit each one, to present the organiser with a framed commemorative certificate. The Town Clerk, at the Council offices in Jaycroft Road, would like to hear from street party organisers to ensure the events are included in the civic diary."

The schedule of official events will run as follows...

Saturday 2nd June

A giant sandcastle-building event will be held on Burnham beach, just north of the Pavilion, which is expected to attract large numbers of children and adults with the aim of breaking the official world record for the most built in an hour.

A children’s parade from Apex Park, to be headed, it is hoped, by a marching band. The parade will make a brief stop at the water feature in Marine Drive to mark the planned extension of the grassed area, before moving on to The Esplanade and, possibly, via the town centre.

A children’s event in the restored Marine Cove Gardens on Burnham seafront will follow the sand castle record bid.

Highbridge Town Clock: The Town Council has already commissioned a new four-faced pillar clock, as first reported by here. This will be sited in Jubilee Gardens and will replace the now-defunct clock. Nearly half of the cost of the clock comes from a developer’s contribution (Raglan Housing), with much of the remainder coming for local businesses and residents, many of whom responded to a personal approach from Cllr Mike Mansfield, and includes a very generous single donation of £5,000. A small plaque commemorating the Jubilee will be unveiled. Suggestions as to who should unveil the plaque at a small ceremony on the Saturday afternoon are being considered.

Saturday evening will see the Vale of Avalon vintage car run from Glastonbury arriving on the seafront, as they have done for the past eight years. A special trophy, donated by Cllr Dennis Davey, will be presented to mark the Jubilee.

Sunday 3rd June

As with the 40th and Golden Jubilee celebrations, invited guests will be able to drink a glass of water from the lion’s mouth at the Victorian water feature in Sea View Road, Burnham.

This feature, originally erected to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, is to be cleaned and restored by Wells Cathedral Stonemasons and the Royal cypher 'ER II 2012' will be added to the stonework.

A live afternoon of jazz music, organised by the Cultural Arts Development Society, will take place in the Manor Gardens between noon and 5pm. This year’s event will have a special Jubilee theme, and will be hosted from the bandstand in the Gardens which the Town Council is arranging to be refurbished. A small plaque recalling past concerts and commemorating the Jubilee will be unveiled.

Monday 4th June

Working with Burnham's Hillview Carnival Club, the Town Council is planning to light a Jubilee beacon at the northern end of the beach, some ¼ mile further on than the beach lighthouse. This will be part of a national chain of beacons being lit around the country – the precise time will be dictated by the number of other beacons but is expected to be between 10pm and 10.30pm.

Street parties - it is anticipated that this day will prove the most popular for street parties in Burnham and Highbridge, it being a public holiday.

Tuesday 5th June

Many residents will watch the TV coverage of the Queen in procession to St Paul’s Cathedral and returning through the streets of London in the morning.

A Jubilee event will be held in Burnham's Marine Cove Gardens in the afternoon, with details to be announced soon.

The Town Council is also planning to produce a souvenir booklet to mark the special occasion, which will be available at the two libraries, the information centre on The Esplanade and from the Town Council offices on request. The publication will go to the printers in the first week of May - and anyone organising an event not mentioned here is invited to ensure full details are sent to the Town Clerk by the end of April to ensure inclusion in the booklet. The town clerk can be reached on 01278 788088 or by email here.


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