THOUSANDS of young scouts gathered to bathe Southend pier in light as they paid their respects to the Queen.

Scouts from across Southend’s two groups, the Southend West Scouts and the Southend Estuary Scouts, met at Southend Pier on Saturday for the touching vigil.

As many as 1,500 scouts from across the area made their way to the landmark to pay their respects to Her Magesty, who died on September 8.

The vigil was also an opportunity for the scouts to make their promises to the King.

The ceremony happens every year and sees scouts reaffirm their pledges to the ruling monarch.

In their promises, the scouts pledge to do their best to uphold scouts values, do their duty to the King, help others and keep the scout law.

The vigil saw thousands of scouts in light their touches in unison, illuminating much of the pier.

In attendance were several councillors, Southend’s mayor Kevin Robinson and the city’s two MPs James Duddridge and Anna Firth.

Kevin Nuttman, the district commissioner of Southend West Scouts, helped lead the vigil.

He said: “We had more scouts turn up as well so there were well over 1,000, probably 1,200 to 1,500 scouts.

“I asked the scouts to think about why they were there and to reflect during the vigil.

“They will have seen so much on TV so this was an opportunity for them to be part of something big.

“When they’re asked ‘where were you after the Queen died’ they can say we did a torchlight vigil on the pier.

“It went very well and I’m really happy with how it all came out.

“They covered a vast distance, I really had to shout so they could all hear me.

“We also welcomed Southend’s two MPs, councillors and the major too.

“They must have felt they were part of something big as well. I expected them to melt away, but they stayed, and all stood and applauded the scouts.

“It was amazing really and a great show of respect.

“The mood wasn’t sombre - it was serious and considered and the ceremony was treated with reverence.”