To celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday, Shipston-on-Stour joined in with lighting a beacon on top of Whaddon Hill. This was as part of over 900 beacons light around the country to celebrate her birthday, and was organised by Shipston Town Council.
The Shipston-on-Stour beacon was a proper traditional wood built structure, which was over 20 feet high, and constructed in Farmer Tim Withers field, using hedge branches, and other wood from the local Beechams Farm. It also was filled in the centre with straw and faggots and was setup with an electrically powered plunger to start off proceedings.
The beacon was constructed under the direction of Ron ‘Scobie’ Edmunds, along with Simon Hartnell, Nick Jennings, Maxwell Stevens, Keith Higginson, Simon Keith, Malcolm Bryan and Andy Corby and was made in the memory of Sid Peachey, who built the 2012 beacon for the Queens Diamond Jubilee, but who recently passed away.
Just after 8pm, with a large crowd of over 200 people, the ceremonies were started from words from Ron ‘Scobie’ Edmunds and Tim Withers, before the Shipston Town Cryer Marion Lowe announced the opening of official proceedings. This included thanks to Farmer Tim and the gang who built the beacon and birthday wishes to the queen, from the Mayor
Then the town Mayor Jackie Warner and the Town Cryer both took hold of the plunger and after a crowd led count of 10 started the lighting of the beacon.
It quickly caught light and soon the crowd could feel the heat from the fire.
Then after a few minutes the fireworks, the money for which had come from a Shipston Town Council organised bingo night run by Deputy Mayor Veronica Murphy, were lit off to the delight to the large number of children present. This made a fitting backdrop to the lit beacon close by.
With the light dropping you could see other beacons lit, including Cotswold towns of Brailes, Chipping Norton and Mickleton.
In Memory of Sid Peachey a collection was taken for the Coventry and Warwickshire Air Ambulance, which raised £295.43
Thanks go to the Shipston Rotary club for the stewarding and Shipston St. John Ambulance
To see the full set of images please view the Gallery below: