The Town Beacon has a little history of its own. Back in September 1991 initial meetings wereheld to explore the provision of a beacon for the parish. In 1992 it was erected at the top of Station Road by 22 Eng Regt. After a further move to the old village school site it was finally located in 2005 to its present position to mark the occasion of Tidworth becoming a Town. Despite the construction of a sturdy brazier basket it has NEVER been lit. The original beacon had a wooden plinth and column which, unfortunately, becam rotten. The new beacon now has a metal column and is set in concrete.
It was decided by the Community Engagement committee that to light the beacon would be a worthy project to mark the Olympic Torch relay through our Town on 11 July 2012. Easier said than done! Lots of companies were approached and emails and telephone calls ensued. Apparently the only suggestion we could come up with was to light oily rags!!! Certainly not the dramatic effect we wanted to create. Finally we were given the contact of a company specialising in live flame effects. After the initial approach the company was enthusiastic about our project and designed a specialised unit for us.
The flame was lit by Councillor Maria Hamblin, outgoing Chair of Community Engagement, at 1:15pm on 11 July. The event was watched by interested residents and a crowd of enthusiastic children. We hope you all agree that the effect was as good as we hoped for and that we can now utilise this original attraction to mark future special celebrations and occasions. The council now has the intention of sourcing a smart new crest to hang from the column.
Thanks go to KJE Technical for design and fitting of the equipment, Vinci Construction for the scaffold tower and Talktalk for sponsoring the costs.