On Monday last, the 4th June 2012, there were lots of beacon lighting events as part of the commemoration of the Queen’s 60th Jubilee. The were large public events across the country, and a smaller one in Walsall, at Barr Beacon, oddly restricted to 200 people, a ticket-only affair.
One could be forgiven for thinking that the event at Barr Beacon was the only one locally, but you’d be wrong. Reader and friend of the Brownhills Blog Steve Craddock wrote today to tell me that there had been a small beacon lighting event at the site where e the Staffordshire Hoard was found, on the Warrenhouse at Ogley Hay. It appears a proper metal beacon was erected and lit as part of the national celebrations.
It seems like Hammerwich Parish Council were behind this, and did little to advertise the event to anyone, least of all the residents of Brownhills just over the road. Had I known about this taking place, I’d have plugged it, yet I can find no mention online of anything other than one PDF and one dead link. Steve only happened upon the lighting by chance – and seems to have had a cracking time.
Did you attend, and how did you know it was taking place? Did you help organise this commemoration? Do you know anything about who paid for it? Why was there no publicity?
I don’t want to insinuate anything, but it does seem like this was an event to which Brownhills clearly wasn’t invited.
Steve Craddock sent me the following:
I’m a regular reader of your blog, a keen cyclist and Brownhills resident.
I went to the lighting of the beacon on the site of the Staffordshire Hoard on Monday night. There were 30 – 35 people there which was a very poor showing for the area. I am very surprised that there wasn’t more publicity about the beacon in any of the papers or the local press. I happened to drive down Barracks Lane earlier that day and spotted a large basket on a pole which had been erected only a few days before hand. If I hadn’t spotted it I wouldn’t have known about it.
The beacon was lit by Fred the farmer – who owns the land and there was a brief introductory speech before hand by an elderly gentleman who didn’t introduce himself.
It was a fantastic little piece of history that my wife and I, and two of our daughters, will always remember – but it could have been so much better if there had been a decent crowd to watch it happen.
Attached is a relatively poor picture of the beacon – sorry – best that I could do on the night.
Keep up the good work.
From the Jubilee beacon website I found this reference:
Organiser. Hammerwich Parish Council
Beacon Site where the “Staffordshire Hoard” was found
I couldn’t find any reference on the Lichfield and district website or any other publicity. It was Fred Johnson who lit the beacon.
If you have any info, that’s BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Any contributions treated in the strictest confidence if necessary.