Beacons light up Worcestershire for VE Day anniversary

VE day beacon Published Friday, 15th May 2015

Over 100 people braved the weather to join veterans and civic dignitaries witness the lighting of the VE Day beacon last Friday evening (May 8).

People of all ages, serving armed forces personnel and veterans attended the short ceremony at the Worcestershire Beacon. Worcestershire was one of more than 200 Beacon locations around the country, who marked the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day with the lighting of a special beacon.

Her Majesty, The Queen lit the Principal Beacon outside Windsor Castle followed by beacons all over the country. Worcestershire's beacon which had been specially produced for this event with a unique burner head in the shape of a V for victory and was lit by Lord Lieutenant Patrick Holcroft at 9.32pm.

Up until 15mins before the lighting the weather looked like it may have dampened the celebrations but the skies cleared enabling the beacon to be seen across many parts of the county.

The event was delivered by Worcestershire County Council with support from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and Malvern Hills District Council.

Pam Davey, who attended the ceremony in her role of chairman of Worcestershire County Council said: “It is important that we remember the sacrifices of World War 11 and express our gratitude to those armed forces, many of whom were killed and many more who were severely disabled both physically and mentally. Also to the civilians who lost homes and loved ones. The sacrifices of a whole generation  were made to ensure our freedom and our way of life”.

“The large number of  people who participated, many with their own memories of family members,  in the lighting of the beacon, made it an extremely moving  event and a fitting tribute to those who gave so much.”

“I would like to extend my thanks to the Tenbury branch of the Royal British Legion and  veteran Nick Carter who read a fitting tribute.   The event was an especially memorable way to end my year as Chairman of Worcestershire County Council.”.   

Jack Hegarty, Chief Executive from Malvern Hills District Council added: "The lighting of the Beacon was a significant event that we were very proud to be a part of.

“We also raised the Union flag at the council house on the morning of Friday 8 May, and we stopped the election count at 3pm to observe the two minute silence."

Robert Allen, Station Commander from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service added: "Our Malvern crews provided fire and trauma cover throughout the event, using our off road vehicles to access the Beacon. We were delighted to be asked to be involved in this event, hosted by Worcestershire County Council, to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day."