Memories have been stirred ahead of a special event in Bridport to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Next weekend the Bridport Big Band will perform at a concert organised by The Rotary Club of Bridport to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on February 6, 1952.

On that same day 70 years ago, 17-year-old Elizabeth Buckler of Burton Bradstock was being interviewed by BBC presenter - 'Voice of the Nation' Richard Dimbleby - in Dorchester when word arrived of the death of George VI and consequently Princess Elizabeth's immediate accession to the throne.

Miss Buckler - who became Elizabeth Gale - was one of the first female students at the Dorset Farm Institute - now Kingston Maurward College - and had been invited to appear on the radio programme 'Down Your Way'.

The former Bridport Grammar School pupil had recently returned from a six-week trip to Canada sponsored by Garfield Weston.

She recalled how she was sitting rehearsing the interview with Richard Dimbleby at 9.30am in the Antelope Hotel when an assistant came into the room and whispered into Dimbleby’s ear. He then turned to Elizabeth and said, “The King has died.”

She said: "The recording went ahead but the broadcast was delayed several weeks due to the King’s death and funeral. Richard Dimbleby was the main commentator throughout the radio and TV presentations that followed.

"The announcement that the King had died did not go out to the general public until 10.45am that morning."

She later went to Bournemouth for an outing with other students and remembered that most businesses had closed, flags were at half-mast and all shops were dressed out in black and purple.

"For a fortnight after the King died the radio and TV played only funereal music and the news until after the funeral."

As a Bridport Rotarian Mrs Gale is assisting the organisers of the Platinum Jubilee concert, president Bernard Paull and president-elect Colin Bowditch.

Musical numbers from the Queen’s lifetime will form the extensive programme. The event is in aid of The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the Ukraine Appeal.

The Rotary concert with the Bridport Big Band is on Saturday, May 28 at the United Church Bridport at 7pm for 7.30pm. Tickets £12 are available from Bridport TIC, Rotarians and on the door.

Refreshments will be available and the concert will end with audience participation singing patriotic and appropriate songs.

Mrs Gale said: "I saw the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh when they visited Dorchester in the spring of 1952 and later that summer at the Bath and West Show (which was a moveable feast then) at Newton Abbott where it was held that year.

"At that time of my life everything seemed more simple, and we did not crave for material things. I recall the new Elizabethan Era as being exciting and fresh and joyful."