Beacons Blaze for the Platinum Jubilee

Date Released - 03/06/2022

CONTINUING a tradition dating back to Tudor times and beyond, Tameside Council celebrated the Platinum Jubilee by lighting a beacon on Werneth Low, where it could be seen for miles around.

It was one of thousands lit as a symbol of unity across the United Kingdom and Commonwealth to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne – something achieved by no other British monarch.

As the beacon was lit at 9.45pm, by Wing Commander David Archibald, a deputy lord-lieutenant of Greater Manchester, cornet player Adam Scaife from Mossley Brass Band sounded “Majesty” a call written especially for the occasion by Bugler Sergeant AW Carlisle from the Hillsborough Fort Guard in Northern Ireland.

Tameside Hospital hosted the official NHS beacon, which was the first to be lit after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace in which the Queen took part.

Welding students from Tameside College worked with design colleagues to create a crown-shaped beacon from old and broken hospital beds. Instead of the traditional gas flame, and in keeping with Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust’s green agenda, the signature shade of NHS blue that illuminated the giant sculpture was created by a laser and light display.

Present were the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Mike Glover, and Commander Janet Evans, a deputy lord-lieutenant of Greater Manchester.

Piper Ed Arnold played “Diu Regnare”, a tune composed for the jubilee beacons celebration by Stuart Liddell, pipe major of world champion band Inveraray and District.

There were also three choirs led by Caroline Ratcliffe from Tameside Music Service: Let’s Sing Academy, Willow Wood Hospice Choir and the Yew Tree Singers.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors hosted a private beacon on Hartshead Pike, and there was a Haughton Green community beacon – organised by residents, Haughton Green Community Forum and the Eventfull team – on the Tommy Todd village green.

Cllr Mike Glover, the Civic Mayor of Tameside, said: “I was proud and delighted to help light the hospital beacon.

“In Tameside, we embrace our heritage and it was wonderful to see the age-old tradition of lighting beacons continue for the fifth time in the Queen’s reign, following her three previous jubilees and her 90th birthday in 2016.

“As Jubilee Pageantmaster Bruno Peek said, the Queen has been a light to our country for 70 years. I’m glad that through our beacons on Werneth Low, at Tameside Hospital and on Hartshead Pike, we were able to play our part in a fitting tribute to her extraordinary reign.”