Matlock Town Council lights fuse on beacon plan for Queen's platinum jubilee

Matlock Town Council is making plans to light a flaming beacon as part of celebrations for the Queen’s platinum jubilee in 2022, but it may have some obstacles to overcome first.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:19 pm

On Thursday, June 2, the first night of a special four-day weekend to mark the historic royal milestone, more than 1,500 beacons will be lit across the country, and Matlock representatives are keen to be part of the occasion.

At a meeting on Monday, September 6, members of the events and facilities committee agreed to begin preparatory work with the owner of Riber Castle, where a ceremonial beacon has stood above the town several decades.

While it offers the most obvious focal point on the landscape, the site presents several challenges in terms of insurance risks, sightlines and the structural integrity of the existing beacon.

The beacon is likely to be on land close to Riber Castle which will be visible across Matlock.

The castle’s private owner is willing to accommodate the beacon, but has raised the possibility that insurers may not permit an open fire as close to the building as the beacon’s current position. A gas-powered flame may prove more acceptable.

Concerns have also been raised that trees surrounding the beacon may now obscure views from below, and that its 10-foot concrete base may no longer be safe to use.

The councillors’ decision effectively commits the authority to addressing those issues, rather than considering an alternative site such as the suggestion for Bailey’s Tump, off Asker Lane. The possibility of using a hot air balloon to carry a flame has been left open.

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