Beacons for our Queen's Diamond Jubilee

As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, communities all around our nation and the Commonwealth were lighting beacons last night (Monday 4th) at 10.15pm.

HM Queen Elizabeth II lit the final beacon in central London at 10.30pm.

Our most north-westerly corner of the UK had a beacon and it was lit by two of our best known and loved members of our community: 

The Deputy Lord-lieutenant of the Isles is from Ness, and she chose to have another member of our community light the beacon along with her.

Norman Smith, who is seen with our Deputy Lord-lieutenant in the photo below has been a mainstay in our community for decades, and I for one was delighted to see the choice of 'lighters'.

Before lighting the beacon, our Deputy Lord-lieutenant said this about Norman Smith (seen here with her):

"He is older than the Queen. On his 19th birthday, he was at Fort George. On his 20th birthday, he was on Italian shores. On his 21st birthday, he was a German prisoner of war."

Our generation would do well to remember what the older members of our communities have actually lived through.

The beacon was lit at 10.15pm, and you can see how bright it still was.

Beacons were lit in over four thousand locations up and down our land and throughout the Commonwealth. 

Having lit our beacon, we sang Psalm 23. The setting was beautiful and there was very little wind.

I expect to meet with Norman later this week, and hope to post about some of his life's experience. I count it a privilege to have him tell us his story.

Here's a view across the machair from where the beacon was lit.

And here, beyond the beacon, is 'Our Beach', shown from 'the other side'.


  1. That is a nice tradition. I bet the view from the air would have been incredible, to see all of the beacon's burning at the same time. Can't wait to learn more of the gentlemen's life who helped w/ the lighting of the beacon. I love learning history firsthand, from the person who experienced it.

  2. I know you dont normally respond to inquiry's on comments, yet I am going to ask anyways...so (excuse me for being ignorant of your ways) do the 'Scots' love England and the Queen? If so, things have certianly come a long way in the past few hundred years havent they? Our dance teacher is from Scotland. When she was a young adult and it would be the Queens bday, there were some that would 'celebrate' and others who deliberately would not...intersting..

  3. Thank you for posting this. We have enjoyed all the personal jubilee celebration stories. And I love your new blog look...very clean and fresh.

  4. What a neat celebration! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Thanks for sharing! I would love to have been able to celebrate with you! By the way...I love the new look of your blog! It's lovely! <3

  6. Whenever I read your blog, I find myself wanting to be transported to wherever you are, doing whatever you may be doing at the time, or experiencing what you're writing about. This story was no exception. I, too, would love to meet the people you're talking about, hear their stories, and enjoy the lighting of the beacon. I especially would have loved to have heard Psalm 23 being sung.

  7. OH MY GOODNESS - I've been away too long! I had a very busy spring and couldn't keep up with my blog reading. Now that I am back I am so thrilled to see your new and oh, so beautiful look. And as you do many times, you had me in tears as you spoke about the beacon fire and the fire lighter, Mr. Smith. Your Deputy Lord-lieutenant got it right! I have been watching from across the pond as I admire Queen Elizabeth II very much. Somehow to me, the beacon fires hearken back to the earliest days of the empire, before she was an empire. Thanks so much for sharing and I look very much forward to your conversations with Mr. Smith. Please give him my best!

  8. How nice! Can't wait to hear Norman's story.

  9. You're quite right- we can all benefit from the lives of our elderly.


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