Bolton Mountain Rescue Attends the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons on Rivington Pike and Darwen Jubilee Tower

This evening all four team Land Rover Ambulances travelled to two moorland locations in our area which were lighting beacons to celebrate the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee.

We had been asked to attend two of the Beacon locations in our team area, Jubilee Tower above Darwen and Rivington Pike above Rivington.

Individual accounts of the evening appear below, together with a selection of the photos taken on the Evening.

Darwen Jubilee Tower

The following report was submitted by Team Callout Member Kris Kilshaw:

At 19.30 both Bolton Mobile One and Bolton Mobile Two left base to Darwen Tower with 7 team members on board. This was to attend the Darwen Jubilee Tower Beacon in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration. This was one of many beacons to be lit across the country.

Darwen Tower was built 115 years ago to commemorate the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee, and was opened in 1898, so it was apt that it should be used to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee. The tower was also sporting its replacement dome, which was damaged in the November 2010 gales.

Once we got to the summit of Darwen Tower, both crews were greeted by the organisers of the event, Darwen District Scout Association, who had set up several lights, speakers and even a laser show for the occasion.

Crowds soon started to gather on the summit and when crew members took advantage of the land rover roof racks to gain a good view of the tower and the beacon which was to be lit, lots of children soon spotted us who then wanted to sit in and on the vehicles to have their photos taken.

Just before the beacon was lit the crowd all joined in with singing along to ’Land of Hope and Glory,’ As the sun set the countdown began. Once the beacon was lit the crown then sung along to the National Anthem.

The ceremony was then brought to a close by the Scouts reading a prayer to the Queens health. During the festivities, the team received a £10 donation from a member of the crowd.

From the vantage point, it was possible to see the beacons lit on the peaks in the Yorkshire Dales.

Picture courtesy of Matt Donnelly

Picture courtesy of Matt Donnelly

The team would like to thank the Darwen District Scout Association for the invitation to be part of the festivities and for a good night thoroughly enjoyed by all. Special thanks to Michael Grime, District Commissioner of Darwen District Scout Association for his invitation to attend and pre-event liaison with the team.

Rivington Pike

The following report was submitted by Team Callout Member Diane Blakeley:

We arrived at Rivington Pike very early to find as yet nothing in place. Bolton Mobile 4 with Dave Marsh, Alan James, Martin Banks and Phil Crook stayed around the Rivington area keeping a check what was happening. Whilst Mobile 3 which included Neil Aspinall, Chris Tennant, Nick Berry and myself (Diane Blakeley) went for a drive around the team area to see if any other celebrations were taking place, it was such a lovely evening to be in the countryside. Our journey led us to McDonalds; I think our driver had this plan always in his mind!

By 9pm on what was a glorious evening Martin in Mobile 4 advised us that the beacon had arrived and that a small number of people were walking up towards the Pike. They also confirmed that the cake made by Naomi Horan to celebrate the occasion was indeed very nice and if we were not quick it would be all gone. So we headed back towards the Pike to be amazed at the number of people attempting to find somewhere to park as close as possible to walk up to watch the lighting of the beacon. By the time we arrived on top of the Pike there must have been several hundred people gathered there. Our Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon, his wife Gill and their children also joined us for the celebration.

the crowds gathering on Rivington Pike

Nick and I grabbed the best seat in the house and climbed up to sit on top of the landrover. From here we not only had a clear view of the beacon but could see for miles including North Wales, Blackpool and the South Lakes, all on the backdrop of a stunning sunset. As the darkness fell we slowly started to see fireworks in the distance and the beacons which were lit before ours. As the Rivington Pike beacon was being lit by Chorley Local Authority it was lit at 10.15pm bang on schedule to great cheers. We were certainly in a privileged position to be able to be part of this wonderful occasion and play our part in wishing the Queen congratulations on her Diamond Jubilee.

lighting the beacon

Whilst up the Pike we came across a ten year old boy, who had got caught up in the occasion and not realised how late it was. As the time was now very late and the phone number he knew kept going to answerphone we drove him back to Horwich to reunite him with his grateful family who were beginning to search for him.

A big thanks to Chorley Borough Council and their staff who organised the beacon, it was a great occasion for all those who were able to be present.

Rivington Pike from Horwich