Banchory beacon signals a dramatic climax to celebrations

Lighting of the Jubilee beacon on Scolty Hill on Monday night.
Lighting of the Jubilee beacon on Scolty Hill on Monday night.

Banchory’s Bellfield Park saw the culmination of months of planning by numerous local organisations as more than 300 people gathered to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on Monday this week, writes Jan Leatham.

Just over two months ago, representatives from ten Banchory organisations met to discuss how best to celebrate this national milestone, and the parade, music in the park and procession up to the Beacon on Scolty Hill was the result.

People lined the High Street to watch as the ATC, Army cadets,Scouts, Lions, Round Table, Rotary and the British Legion paraded behind Pipe Major Cassandra Brown. Many shop fronts are decorated with a red, white and blue theme reflecting the bunting which lines the street to mark the occasion. Members of the public joined waving Union Jacks as the parade made its way into Bellfield Park.

Revellers were treated to several bands and musicians, including Raw Obsession, the Rob Roy Ceilidh band, Max & Lewis acoustic set, and the stunning voice of Lizzy Thompson.

Meanwhile, around 200 people including 60 young representatives from nine clubs and groups lined the route up Scolty Hill which was marked out to show each of the years of the Queen’s reign.

The theme tune to Chariots of Fire played at 8.45pm and two young athletes from Banchory Stonehaven Athletics Club – Kathryn Christie and Rhona Auckland ran down the steps into Bellfield Park with the flame and then up to the Scolty Car Park.

Next in the relay was the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Rita McLean who passed the lantern to Sir Robert Smith and then finally to Ryan Bond – President of Banchory Rotarians.

Along the route each young person attached a medal representing their year to a shield and these were placed finally at the foot of the tower at the top of Scolty Hill.

At 10.26pm a flame was lit at the top of Scolty Tower, watched by around 200 people at the summit, and 150 more in Bellfield Park, making Monday night a night to remember in the history of Banchory!