Thursday, 7 June 2012

Elmdon Park's Jubilee Beacon

Solihull played its part in the international celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee as a beacon was lit in Elmdon Park on the night of Monday 4 June.

With the help and expertise of West Midlands Fire Service and staff and parishioners from St Nicholas' Church, Solihull Council arranged for the beacon lighting, with over 100 people in attendance.

The beacon was one of 4,200 beacons lit across the world to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

Local residents, friends of Elmdon Park, parishioners and the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Ken Hawkins, were invited to a service at the historic St Nicholas Church, which is four hundred feet above sea level, and occupies the site of an earlier Saxon church, built in 1289.

Following the service, guests were treated to a tea party before proceeding to the beacon. It was lit by the Mayor of Solihull as part of a co-ordinated sequence of thousands of other lightings, beginning on the south pacific archipelago of Tonga earlier that day and ending when the Queen herself lit the National beacon at Buckingham Palace.

St Nicolas' stepped forward late in the day to make certain that the beacon lighting activity could be held in the park and therefore ensure the borough was able to participate on this unique occasion.

 L-R: The Mayoress of Solihull, Mrs Janet Hawkins, Richard Miller of
West Midlands Fire Service, The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Ken Hawkins

The Mayor, who had the honour of lighting the beacon, said of the occasion: “The lighting of beacons has been used in Britain to mark major events for hundreds of years. I’m incredibly honoured to be able to act in unison with thousands of other people across the country and the globe in commemorating our beloved and respected monarch."

Richard Huss, the Churchwarden at St Nicholas Church, commented: “We had been talking about how we could get local awareness for this lovely church on the edge of Elmdon Park, as many people just don’t know we are here. So this was a great privilege and fantastic opportunity for the Church. The event went extremely well and we look forward to working in partnership with the Council in future.”

Beacons have been lit in Elmdon Park on previous occasions, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the celebrations for the millennium on December 31 1999.


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