Jubilee Beacon Taking Shape On Peninnis

The beach taking shape at Peninnis

The man in charge of organising St Mary’s Diamond Jubilee beacon on Monday 4th June says he’s hoping the weather will be kind on them.

Joel Williams says 4,000 beacons are being lit across the UK to celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s reign, and the organising committee have laid down a very strict timetable. The first beacon will be lit at 10pm with the last being lit by the Queen in Greenwich at 10.30pm.

Different organisations and charities have been given time slots to light their fires, with our local authority expected to start at 10.15pm.

Council Chairman, Mike Hicks, will light our beacon.

And Joel says it’s taken some work to ensure it will ignite well, while still being safe. He said the last thing we want is a damp squib!

The beacon is currently being built on Peninnis Head, near the lighthouse, by the Council’s Direct Labour Force. Joel said by the time it’s finished it should stand about 10 feet high and he’s hoping there won’t be any high winds between now and next Monday.

There will be community singing with the Scilly Sirens before the lighting ceremony, and Joel says Lifelong Learning have been working with Steve Sims on a stargazing session afterwards, although that will depend on the weather.

Joel has been working hard to get the necessary risk assessments and permits in place.

He said it’s not just an issue with the fire, but, as it will be dark, they’ve needed to look at the risk of trips and falls, as well as avoiding damage to the natural environment at Peninnis.

Andy Finch has removed the turf where the beacon is sited and this will be replaced after the event to hide any signs of the fire. A water bowser will also be on standby for if the fire gets out of hand and needs to be put out quickly.

Joel says it’s not the easiest location to reach and they’ll need to keep the road free for emergency services so no cars will be allowed on the headland.

Cars can park on the Health Centre car park, although Joel says it would be better if you could leave them at home.

He says people should wear walking shoes and bring torches as it’ll be dark on the walk back, and dogs should be kept on a lead.

The organisers are still looking for marshals who can help on the night, keeping people safe in the dark and pointing them in the right direction. Anyone interested in helping should call Joel on 423680 or pop into the Carn Thomas site.