Shipston lights beacon for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
On Thursday 2nd June, to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Shipston joined more than 3,500 communities across the country by lighting a beacon on top of Whaddon Hill.
The Shipston-on-Stour Beacon was prepared and built in the traditional way, as it always has been. Over the last four months, several local farmers allowed the Beacon Volunteers to use hedging to make the faggots for a 25-foot high beacon and construct it in Farmer Tim Withers’s field.
It was constructed under the direction of Ron ‘Scobie’ Edmunds, along with Max Stevens, Keith Higginson, Steve Yates, Darren Clark, Nick Jennings, Malcolm Bryan, Simon Hartwell, David Hudson, Nigel Hunt, Sam Hunt, Will Hunt, Trevor Gilkes and Joe Johnson.
A very large crowd of over 1,000 people gathered at the top of Whaddon Hill at 9pm. The ceremony began with some kind words and thanks from Ron ‘Scobie’ Edmunds then the Mayor of Shipston, Marianne Westwood, announced the opening of official proceedings. The Town Crier read the special proclamation followed by the Shipston Town Band Bugler playing a piece called Majesty officially announcing the lighting of the Beacons.
Finally, Mr and Mrs Withers took hold of the lighting plunger and after the crowd counted down from 10, the lighting of the beacon started. The assembled crowd also enjoyed views of up to 11 other local beacons, including Ilmington, Brailes, Stow on the Wold, Campden etc. alongside an incredible firework display, thanks to Alan Wright.
“It is always an honour and pleasure to be involved with the building of the Beacon,” commented Ron ‘Scobie’ Edmunds. “Seeing the happy faces of the community and hearing all the positive feedback makes all the hard work worth it. I would like to say a huge thank you to all the beacon volunteers, Shipston Lions and Shipston Town Council plus Mr and Mrs Withers and family who helped to make this special occasion to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee happen.”
In Memory of Sid Peachey, a collection was taken for the Coventry and Warwickshire Air Ambulance, which raised £640.00.