The Lieutenancy proposes to organise four bonfire beacons on the Ochil Hills above Menstrie, Alva, Tillicoultry and Dollar, and two gas-fired beacons at Alloa and Clackmannan Towers.
The map shows locations inside Clackmannanshire, which is north of Edinburgh and Glasgow and roughly equidistant from both. On a clear night, a chain of light should be visible to a large part of the Scottish population. The Ochil Hills rise sharply from the Forth Valley (average height around 1250ft) and are visible across the Central Scotland belt. Alloa and Clackmannan Towers date from the 16th century and both have Royal connections.
Planning to Date
Two planning meetings have been held so far involving DLs, Council officials and representatives of the Police and Fire Services. There are offers of assistance from Scouts and Cadets. The whisky distiller Diageo has offered spent barrel staves for the bonfires. Clearance has been obtained from local landowners. Community Councils have been involved in pre-planning and are likely to organise small local celebrations (at the foot of the hills, not the beacon site) in most of the locations. Currently there are some objections from the Ochils Mountain Rescue Team on the grounds of safety on the
hills at night. The team has also argued for flares, not beacons. Discussions are ongoing.
A draft operational plan and risk register has been produced by the Council’s Emergency Planning Officer. This envisages a Central Coordinator based in the Rescue Team’s base office, linked to Emergency Services and local Coordinators at each location. Work is proceeding to put this plan in place.
For the time being, the Lord-Lieutenant will continue to chair the Beacons Working Group and to liaise with the Pageantmaster. Once the Central and local Coordinators are appointed, details will be sent to the Pageantmaster. Note that the Lord-Lieutenant will be in London, representing Clackmannanshire at Diamond Jubilee events, on 4 June.