Hedon Mayor ensures Beacon lit to mark Queen’s 90th Birthday

Beacon smoking Sarah Rommell

Smoking Beacon – Picture by Sarah Rommell

HEDON marked the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II last night with the lighting of the Hedon Beacon. Lit at 7.30pm (Thursday 21st April 2016), the firewood stashed in the beacon was ignited electronically sending black smoke into the air before the first flames eventually showed.

The tribute was a personal one from Hedon’s civic leader. As the 669th Mayor of Hedon and loyal to the Queen, Councillor Neil Black was dressed in his full mayoral robes and accompanied by the Mayoress Mrs Linda Black and the Mace Bearer John Dawson.

The Mayor felt it important to mark the occasion in this way and give the Royal birthday civic recognition.

Photos: Thanks to Glenn Stallard, Cllrs. Sarah Rommell and Colin Billany.

Some controversy: The event was not an organised public celebration; the suggestion to light the beacon came too late to Hedon Town Council (in the first week of March) in order for them to make the necessary arrangements (i.e. organise road closures, marshalling and first aid cover). However, it was deemed important that Hedon marked the celebration despite this, so the event was arranged as a personal tribute of the Mayor.

Town crier rings news 4

Town crier John Dawson proclaims the Royal Birthday

John Dawson, in his role as Town Crier, was out in Hedon across lunchtime on the Queen’s Birthday, on behalf of the Mayor, proclaiming the Royal birthday. Some residents heard about the lighting of the beacon through this. The Hedon Blog had also run a story: Beacon lit to mark queens birthday. But generally, the beacon lighting was necessarily a low-key event. This inevitably left some residents disappointed about missing it.

Over twenty people complained on the Hedon Blog Facebook Page last night about their lack of knowledge of the event, with many indicating that they and their families would have loved to have attended had they known.

This public disappointment, with people expressing the view that the council should have advertised the event much better, reveals the affection that people have for the Queen and a willingness to express this in public. However, the dilemma here is that if the council had belatedly advertised the event, it could have attracted crowds that would have made the event untenable: A catch 22 situation.

Hedon Blog view: Residents are likely to be pleased that the town was involved in the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations – albeit not to the extent that many would have liked. However, it is hoped that in the future when the Hedon Beacon is lit, the necessary advanced planning is considered in a timely fashion, and any events take place with the full participation of and an invitation issued to local residents.

3 replies »

  1. I agree with the above. I think we should take a leaf out of Withernseas book as they had lots of locals all enjoying the historic event. After all it is not just the council of Hedon that want to celebrate this historic event. I feel that Hedon has let us down and should have had more community spirit instead of not telling us until after the event. I always look on Hedon blog to catch up on local events and never saw it before the above. Come on Hedon council let us not be left out next time.

  2. The thing is the Queen’s 90th birthday has been known about, obviously, for some time!! The Council should have been on top of this in plenty of time, there’s simply no excuse!! I also think that the Union Jack should have been flown from the Church too. Perhaps we’ll get it right in June? I would like, however, to thank Mayor Black for lighting the beacon anyway, and showing his respect to the Queen.

  3. The mainstream media had been saying all day that the beacons would have been lit. I was tempted to take my little one round to see it after we saw the one being lit at Windsor on the tele.

    The Millennium Beacons were put in place for events like this and usually they all get lit together.

    I don’t think Hedon TC can win sometimes. It wouldn’t have warranted the expense of having measures in place like closing off roads.

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