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Lighting Up Hadrian's Wall

My Small Part in a Historic Event in 2010

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Lighting Up Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall runs across the North of England stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, to guard the wild north-west frontier of the Roman Empire from the savage Scots.

On Saturday 13 March 2010 , gas beacons and flares were lit at various points on Hadrian's Wall to create a "line of light" stretching from coast to coast.

This link gives you all the YouTube videos for the event.

Around 1,000 volunteers helped to ignite roughly 500 individual points of light at 250m intervals along the wall.

The organisers were surprised by the amount of people who put their names forward and the volunteers had many reasons for wanting to take part. Each volunteer "illuminator" had a personal reason for wanting to take part.

They ranged from someone celebrating their birthday to a romantic husband.

I can’t remember my reason apart from wanting to be part of something historic very close to my home.

The lights were illuminated in succession - starting at Wallsend at 5.45pm and finishing in Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria just over an hour later.

A helicopter followed and filmed the 84 mile-long line that was created and a DVD of the film was released and is in my library downstairs.

It’s over 11 years since I took part in this and I was in Cell 4 and we were somewhere in Bensham close to where I live (well a mile or two away) ,

The text on the video I took was:

Cell 4 Illuminating Hadrian's Wall , including Jay's Juggling , Alison and Neil doing great work with the beacon , with Billy and Julie lighting torches and me setting fire to my gloves!!

We had a beacon and flares and went on a van from Newcastle Quayside to the point in Bendsham where we set up ready to play our part in lighting the wall in this amazing event. Our group were six of the thousand illuminating the route and apparently there were thousands of tourists who came to see it take place.

Events were held in Segedunum in Wallsend , where incidentally the signs in Wallsend Metro Station are in Latin., and in Carlisle once the lightning was complete.

I filmed and photographed some of what happened and when the helicopter came over we were spaced out from the beacon with flares, but my flare managed to break up and start burning my gloves but I had to keep it held high and lit to complete the illumination of the wall in my tiny bit of the 84 mile stretch.

Hadrian’s Wall (Latin Vallum Aelium), also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani was started in AD 122 and significant parts of it are still visible . It is the largest Roman archeological feature in the United Kingdom , and as well as the wall itself there are reconstructed forts such as Vindolanda near Hexham and Arbeia in South Shields.

There is a pub in Newcastle called The Mile Castle and this takes its name from the forts that were built into the wall. Close to my home is one called the Denton Turret.

I did receive a certificate to prove that I took part in the event , which you can see above and the video I made with Cell 4 is below this where you can see just what happened in setting up our tiny piece of history.. It;s not often you can say I took part in something so large and unique , where everyone had to really get their part right to make it work, but I did by bit and everyone else did theirs.

This is something where my friends on Vocal can learn a little more about me and I must thank the Vocal platform for allowing me the space to share these memories.

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Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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Comments (1)

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  • Veronica Coldironabout a year ago

    Wow! I enjoyed reading about the concert at the Sage and the video of Hadrians Wall. Event like these are so wonderful that it makes me feel so small. You have beautiful experiences and I am so pleased that you share them!! ❤️

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