Crowds in Portsmouth gather to watch beacons lit for Queen's birthday
CROWDS of people from across the area gathered to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.
Beacons were lit across the country yesterday evening, including in the historic settings of Southsea Castle and Portchester Castle, and lots of people went to join in the celebrations.
With bottles of fizz and their cameras ready, the crowd enjoyed watching the beacons light up as the sun started to set.
Susan Green, from Southsea, went to the celebration with her husband Ted. She said: ‘It was very nice to see people come along to mark the occasion. I would have liked the beacon to be a bit bigger to really give it a wow but at least it burnt brightly.
‘I thought it was a lovely idea to mark the celebration and it was a lovely evening to come out and watch it.’
Fellow Southsea resident June Garner took her granddaughter Evie, 10, to Southsea Castle.
The 69-year-old said: ‘I wanted to share with Evie how important the day was.
‘It is great we could celebrate the Queen’s birthday although a bigger beacon would have done the Queen more justice.’
Around 150 people gathered around Southsea Castle and cheered when the beacon was lit.
John Rush and his wife Anne, from Old Portsmouth, liked the celebration.
Anne said: ‘It was lovely to celebrate a landmark birthday for the Queen. It was something everyone could take part in which I liked.
‘I thought it was fun that people brought bubbly with them as it made the event that more special.
‘It was also good seeing families and the little ones learning about the Queen.’
John added: ‘Southsea Castle was a very poignant place to have the beacon especially with its royal history. It is a shame an official announcement wasn’t made before it was lit so people would know but it was still good.’
Elsewhere in the area, people also went to Portchester Castle for the lighting of the beacon there.
Within the grounds of the castle, there were lots of free activities for families to enjoy including live music, face painting and games.
Children were also given the chance to make their own beacon.
People living near Bishop’s Waltham also had the chance to see a beacon being lit.
The beacons were some of many events to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Search Museum, in Gosport, had a collection of royal items on display showing how things have changed since the Queen was born.