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Why didn’t Canvey light its beacon for jubilee?
7:40am Monday 11th June 2012 in Local News
Canvey residents were angered after the island was left out of the national beacon lighting celebrations.
Although thousands of beacons across the UK were lit up, as part of the nationwide Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration on Bank Holiday Monday, Canvey was left in the dark when it came to the festivities.
While Basildon and Southend boroughs ignited several beacons, the only torch lit in Castle Point was in Daws Heath, despite Canvey having a perfectly good beacon on the Waterside Farm roundabout.
Vanessa Mileman, 43, from Florence Road, Canvey, said: “The beacon on Waterside Farm roundabout has been sitting there all this time. Everyone seemed to be lighting their town beacons except us.
“I didn’t really want to go to Daws Heath, as it’s not our community.
“It’s like going to someone else’s street party.”
The Waterside Farm beacon was installed in 2003.
It commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Canvey floods and was lit at the time for 48 hours.
John Payne, from the Canvey Island Independent Party, thought the same thing should have happened on Monday.
He said: “Canvey is a community.
“If Castle Point Council had the beacon at Daws Heath, knowing there’s already one on Canvey, you’d think they could have found out if it could have been included in the celebrations as well.
“It just seems we have to fight for everything.
“Canvey just seems to be forgotten.”
Nicola Field, 36, of Long Road, Canvey, added: “It’s a shame it wasn’t lit. It would have been a nice thing for the island.”
Tory councillor and island stalwart, Ray Howard, said he regretted not pursuing the option of lighting the Canvey beacon.
He said: “On reflection, I wish I could have given it more thought.
“I’m man enough to admit I’m wrong when I’m wrong.
“Canvey 2000 did a fantastic job in providing a lot of improvements for Canvey and the beacon was one of them.”
Mr Howard also stressed the shrubbery which shields the Waterside Farm beacon from view, should be cleared in time for the 60th anniversary of the Canvey floods.
A host of jubilee celebrations were held across Castle Point over the extended weekend to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
These included 22 street parties, a big lunch at Labworth Park, on Canvey, and celebrations at the Canvey Royal British Legion hall.
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