Beacon broadside is rejected

JUBILEE LIGHTS -- the red, white and blue rays beam across the Hucknall sky
JUBILEE LIGHTS -- the red, white and blue rays beam across the Hucknall sky

CRITICISM of red, white and blue beacons set up in Hucknall to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has been rebuffed by Ashfield District Council.

The shards of light hit the night sky around the town on Bank Holiday Monday.

But through the Dispatch’s Twitter page and website, there were complaints that the exact location was not revealed by Ashfield Council in advance.

Critics also bemoaned the quality of the display, which was part of a string of beacons lit around the country to mark Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne.

However, Ashfield Council says it offered guidelines on organising beacon events but no organisation in Hucknall came forward.

Rather than not participate in the occasion, the council took the decision to stage beacons at four of the district’s highest points.

Details of the event were released close to the date, advising people to watch the skies.

The decision not to pinpoint sites was down to health and safety reasons — the lights were 500kw in strength, very bright lights and there was a lot of cabling, which represented a trip hazard.

Hucknall’s beacon was positioned on The Ranges.

The council also says the lights were best viewed from a distance.

Deputy leader of the council, Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, said: “The council took the decision to have light beacons to ensure the safety of the public after no applications were received from community groups to hold fire beacons. “The patriotic red, white and blue searchlights were very effective and could be seen for miles around.”

The Hucknall event has been registered with Buckingham Palace and will feature in a Jubilee book.