Councillor Barry Parsons, Leader of Torridge District Council and Ward Councillor for Halwill, officially dedicated the revamped car park at the Parish Hall and the new steps to the playing field, to be known as the Jubilee Steps. He then drew the winning name of the school child who would have the honour of planting the oak sapling from one of the Royal estates. This honour went to Alex Farmer. The position chosen for the tree will be on the bank at the top end of the playing field. Councillor Parsons is a former Trustee of the Winsford Trust and has spent many years supporting its work. Barry regularly dropped in to the centre to visit members of the Luncheon Club. Unfortunately the Luncheon Club was recently closed due to rising costs and shortage of funding.
After a ‘bring and share’ tea prizes were given out to the winners of the best royal crown competition, the winner of the preschool category was Lacey Mae Morris, Key Stage one – Ruby Endacott and Key Stage two – Jai Ley.
This was followed by the presentation of commemorative mugs given to all children eleven years and under living in the parish of Halwill. A fun Tug O’War between boys and girls of all ages became very competitive the older the participants were. The ladies team Captain was the local Police Sergeant, which didn’t stop her encouraging bystanders to add to her team to give them victory over the men. This gave everyone an appetite for the barbecue manned by Mike and Sheila Duda and Cath and Mike Stone, the two gentlemen being members of the Parish Council. This was followed by music through the evening from John & Richard.
The climax of the whole event was the lighting of the Halwill beacon. The intention of The Queens Diamond Jubilee Beacons was to light over 2,012 beacons across the country with Her Majesty The Queen lighting the final one at Buckingham Palace on June the 4th. There has been a long history of beacon lighting in this country. Traditionally they have been lit to celebrate numerous events including Coronations, Royal Weddings and Jubilees. There was a large amount of beacons constructed for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, some were of impressive proportions.