The Queen’s 90th Birthday Beacon
Mountain Top Beacon to Celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday
Thursday 21st April 2016
Well, I think we can call this event a success despite the lack of 100s of visitors – those that mattered turned up and full credit to them for that. It was a typical horrendous night on top of Twmbarlwm, very cold and the wind enough to knock you off your feet.
Our team of volunteers bodily carried the equipment to the top of the mountain at 6pm – we put up the health and safety warning tape and the wind tried to rip it all down straight away. We erected the Beacon and weighted it down with large quantities of stones and sand bags and a trial burn was successful.
The rest of the organising team met and guided visitors to the top – and our guest of honour Chris Evans MP was the first to join us at the top. The crowd of over nearly 50 people waited stoically at the top, some sheltering in the lee of the Tump away from the cutting wind, until the pre-arranged time to light the Beacon. The Twmbarlwm beacon was part of the chain of hundreds of beacons that were lit around the United Kingdom after the first beacon was lit at Windsor Castle.
After a few unsuccessful attempts Terry Evans managed to get the Beacon going to cheers from the waiting crowd. Chris Evans read out a special birthday message from Prince Charles and led the group in a resounding chorus of the Welsh National Anthem and God Save the Queen – followed by Happy Birthday … dear “Your Majesty”, led by Cllr Sally Davies.
The Beacon was kept alight for another half hour while people scanned the magnificent views from the mountain top trying to pick out any other beacons in the distance. We thought we spotted a few but the weather conditions were so poor we could not be sure.
People drifted off back down the mountain as their abilities to withstand the cold waned – and the volunteers packed up all the equipment to transport back down the mountain.
Everyone re-convened at Risca Rugby Club for a very welcome warming drink and buffet courtesy of Risca Town Council – and everyone agreed that it had been an enjoyable event despite the conditions – and we can’t wait to do it all again for the Queen’s 100th birthday.
Before I sign off from this post I would like to thank Risca Town Council for their part in organising this event and to all the CTS members who helped. And a special thanks to CCBC for providing the services of countryside rangers Gethin and John to help us transport people and equipment to the top.
TERRY EVANS, Chairman Cymdeithas Twmbarlwm Society
Below: the original announcement
Make sure you look up to the top of Twmbarlwm on the evening of 21st April and you will see a beacon burning bright to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
This is a joint event with Risca Town Council. We will be lighting a Beacon on top of the Tump at 7:30 pm (or possibly a little later if it’s still too light). Just like the Jubilee Beacon in 2012 thousands of communities around the UK will be doing the same.
Due to the logistics of organising too many people to the top of the mountain, the event is restricted to CTS members and invited people. People wishing to attend are encouraged to meet at Risca Leisure Centre, around 7:00pm, where we will car share where possible to drive on up to the car park at the end of Mountain Road.
We hope to have enough volunteers to help us with various tasks on the night, but if you think you could help out please get in touch. It will still be daylight on the way up but dark on the way back so volunteers will be stationed to help guide people down.
Above all, if you do come, please make sure you wear stout shoes and dress appropriately for the weather conditions and for the terrain – and please bring a torch if you have one.