THERE was a good attendance of people of all ages for the Callington Jubilee Beacon Lighting event on Kit Hill, with a special shuttle service of two minibuses in operation to the summit from the town’s New Road Car Park, although quite a number people walked up the hill from parking areas at the hill’s base.

While many brought their own picnics, there were also food and drink vans available offering a varied selection of pasties, quiches, cakes and beverages and musical entertainment was provided by Callington Town Band.

As the sun began to set and the sky turned pink, the crowd gathered in a circle around the large wood pile which had been prepared as the Callington beacon, while others took up stations around the hilltop monument to gain a more extensive view.

Callington beacon lighting
Callington beacon lighting (Cornish Times)

Before the official lighting-up time of 9.45pm, all were treated to a proclamation by town crier Tony Stentiford honouring the Queen’s years of service. This was followed by bagpiper Tim Healy, dressed in full Highland regalia, performing the piece Majesty, then a trumpet fanfare was played by a member of the Town Band, before representatives of the parishes surrounding Callington took up torches with which to light the bonfire as darkness began to descend. 

While initially slow to start, the bonfire was soon well ablaze and adding to the magic of the evening was the fact that from 1,000ft high Kit Hill many other beacons around the Plymouth area and right across North Cornwall and West Devon could be seen glowing in the valleys below and far into the distance.

This array of orange points of light was soon followed by miniature leaping, multi-coloured flashes of light from two firework displays taking place in towns far away near the north coast, giving an added spectacle as people began to queue for the minibuses taking them back to town or made their own way back down to the base of the hill.