Saturday, 23 April 2016

A Happy Birthday Bonfire

To celebrate the Queen`s 90th birthday on Thursday, beacons and bonfires were lit across Britain, as they have been for centuries to mark special occasions.

In one village, a local farmer invited villagers onto his land and the Parish Council encouraged people to build the bonfire with garden prunings and woody waste. 

Villagers gathered round at dusk. "Happy Birthday to You" was sung to the absent Queen, who was enjoying a birthday dinner with her family at Windsor Castle that evening.

The farmer lit the bonfire to loud applause, although the green prunings took a while to catch alight.

The local herd of red deer wandered nearer, as they usually do before nightfall, but were startled by the fire and a crowd of human beings on their familiar fields. They turned tail and headed back towards the woods.

People gathered to chat and exchange news. Cider and apple juice, from the local cider farm, were enjoyed. Children played in the field as the darkness fell, before being shepherded home to bed as they all had school in the morning.

Some of the village dogs came too.

The fire took hold as night fell. We stood in the heat of the blaze, warmed on a chilly evening.
Flames hypnotised the watchers, as they have since early human beings first made fire.

The crowd began to thin. A small community had celebrated for the Queen and come together for a few friendly hours.
People wandered homewards across the dark field and left the bonfire burning through the  night.


The Weaver of Grass said...

What a lovely idea and brilliant for getting all the villagers together.

Morning's Minion said...

That would be my sort of outing--although I have a talent for positioning myself downwind of a campfire or bonfire. Going home with the smokey/outdoor smell clinging to hair and clothes is part of the celebration.
One of my favorite books is the little known 'The Rising of the Lark' by Ann Moray-there's a lovely description of a Guy Fawks bonfire early in the book.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Surprised we didn't have a becon here, as we actually have a "Beacon Hill"

Bovey Belle said...

Nothing like that happened around Here, but what a lovely way to celebrate the Queen's birthday bash. Wish I'd been there with you.

WOL said...

Lovely that it's wet enough there to leave the bonfire to burn itself out. Couldn't do that here. (I confess, I shuddered at the thought of just going off and leaving a fire burning -- !) Couldn't even build a bonfire here without risking half of two States going up in smoke. We are not only very under-watered here but also very windy, and between the dryness and the prevailing winds, we are under alert for wildfires . . .

Still, happy birthday to HRH, ERII. (I'll light a candle indoors near the kitchen sink. . .) She's two years younger than my mum, has been queen longer than my brother has been alive, and for all but 3 years of my own life. One's mind boggles at the thought of the historic events she has not only witnessed but participated in and how much the world has changed since she took the throne.

angryparsnip said...

What a wonderful idea to help celebrate the Queen's Birthday.
That was very nice of the Farmer and the cider farm.
Where I live that would not be allowed we are in a fire watch. High wind and a fire do not mix in wildfire season, that came early this year.

cheers, parsnip

Ragged Robin said...

A wonderful way to celebrate and so kind of the farmer - great photos and post :)

Jayne Hill said...

Brilliant idea, and as you say, a wonderful demonstration of community.

Down by the sea said...

That's a wonderful community celebration the deer must have been very startled by the unexpected activity! We had beacons lit close by and those climbing the hill towards the beacon we greeted by the sound of Land of Hope and Glory. Sarah x