Homerton's Pedallers Light Up the Nation

By Matthew Moss 2min read

As part of the weekend of Coronation celebrations, on Sunday 7 May, 10 locations around the UK including Cambridge University Botanic Garden were lit up in a stunning live sequence called Lighting Up The Nation, and Homerton students were centre stage.

Billed by the BBC as ‘a truly spectacular part of the Coronation Concert… a very special moment for people all across the country to come together in celebration’, the Coronation Concert showcased the country's diverse cultural heritage in music, theatre and dance, with the amazing light display as a stunning centrepiece using projections, drones, laser displays and illuminations to bring iconic locations to life.  

The Botanic Garden's iconic Black Pine tree and surrounding landscape were seen as never before – dressed in a stunning display of 12,500 lights, powered by 25 eco-bikes to create a kinetic power display to highlight the King’s commitment to green energy and conservation.  Homerton students joined cyclists from Cambridge Zero, the Cambridge Trust, and Garden staff and volunteers.

Homerton was chosen to represent the Cambridge Colleges because of HM The King's recent visit, which he used to show support for the College's and University's efforts to increase diversity.  In November 2021, when still Prince of Wales, the King met Homerton students and staff, heard about the experience of Black students and the early successes of the Get In Cambridge campaign, and met participants in the pioneering Homerton Changemakers programme, before unveiling a plaque bearing the quotation "the diversity of our society is its greatest strength".

The Homerton cyclists on Sunday were volunteers drawn from winners of the Student Representation Award, which recognises our students who participate in sport, drama, music and other activities at University or national level.

Daljit Nagra, Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and Honorary Fellow of Homerton College, composed a poem to introduce the Lighting Up the Nation segment, performed by actor James Nesbitt.