Town gears up for Diamond Jubilee
Published Friday 25th May 12
Clitheroe is gearing up for a “right Royal” celebration marking the diamond jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
And residents are invited to get in the regal spirit and join in the fun by dressing up as kings and queens.
Clitheroe Castle will host a series of events during the spring bank holiday weekend, culminating in the lighting of an official jubilee beacon at 10.15pm on Monday 4 June.
The weekend will feature a kings and queens fancy dress competition on Saturday 2 June, and Sunday 3 June. Families are invited to don Royal costume and the best-dressed will win a goody bag and Explorer Family and Friends ticket allowing free admission to Lancashire county museums for a year, or a £20 Clitheroe Castle Museum voucher.
On Monday, the castle will host Norman knights in shining armour, live jazz, the Clitheroe Pop Choir, morris dancing, street entertainers, a medieval spinning wheel, yarn-bombing and a barbecue. The winners of the weekend's kings and queens fancy dress competition will also receive their prize from Ribble Valley Mayor Ian Sayers.
Councillor Sayers will light the jubilee beacon at the castle's "Crow's Nest" at 10.15pm, as the Clitheroe Pop Choir sings a song, called Jubilation, written especially for the occasion by local writers Sue Sykora and Theresa Robson.
The beacon is one of 2,000 being lit across the country, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man between 9.30 and 10.30pm marking the Queen's 60-year reign.
Clitheroe Town Crier Roland Hailwood will herald the beacon lighting and an official diamond jubilee flag will also be raised at the Clitheroe Castle Keep.
Tom Pridmore, Ribble Valley Borough Council's tourism and events officer, said: "The diamond jubilee celebrations in Clitheroe look set to be fantastic and we are delighted to be marking this occasion with a beacon lighting ceremony and an original song performed by the fabulous Clitheroe Pop Choir.
"We are inviting local people to join us at historic Clitheroe Castle for this once-in-a-lifetime event celebrating the remarkable career of our much-admired monarch."
As well as Jubilation, the 60-strong Clitheroe Pop Choir will also perform Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen, which is said to be one of the Queen's favourite songs, as well as other celebratory numbers.
Clitheroe singer and voice coach Sue Sykora, who runs the choir and has worked with Ray Davies, formerly of The Kinks, added: "We are excited to be performing an original song marking the Queen's diamond jubilee in such a fantastic setting."
Clitheroe Castle Museum will also host a crown-making workshop from 11.00am - 4.00pm on Wednesday6 June. Further details are available from the museum on 01200 424568.
Right Royal Ribble Valley facts:
- The 12th Century Norman Clitheroe Castle has the second smallest keep in the country and was the subject of a £3.5million refurbishment scheme spearheaded by Ribble Valley Borough Council, which received a Royal opening by HRH The Duke of Gloucester in 2009.
- Clitheroe Castle Keep has 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, including Pendle Hill, which is associated with the infamous Pendle Witches, who were taken to Lancaster Castle and hanged 400 years ago on August 20, 1612.
- Clitheroe is famed for its specialist shops, including the multi-award-winning Byrnes's Wine Shop, which has labyrinthine cellars, and Cowman's Famous Sausage Shop, which sells over 50 types of sausages.
- According to Ordnance Survey, the Ribble Valley village, Dunsop Bridge, is the nearest village to the centre of the British Isles. BT put its 100,000th phone box there to mark the achievement in 1992.
- Dunsop Bridge nestles in the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has said she would like to retire.
- Diamond jubilee beacons will also be lit in the Ribble Valley villages of Ribchester, Slaidburn, Langho, Dutton and Chatburn, and on Pendle Hill, most of which will be visible from Clitheroe Castle.