1999 - Why did they do it? - part I

Monday morning and I joined a circle of people welcoming the solstice sunrise at Stonehenge. A prayer was made for peace in the world as a glorious golden sun rose above the horizon and for a few brief moments my body felt a rush of excitement as solar rays swept the fields towards the Heel Stone.

And then the feeling was gone. Replaced with disappointment and sadness at the antics of people who seem little interested in Stonehenge as a religious site but more an excuse for police baiting. I watched people climbing over the lintels, egging people on to make a dash for the centre of the stone circle and cursing any policeman who tried to prevent them. A drunk lying in the middle of the road shouted abuse while pretending he was a sniper shooting down the ever present police helicopter. A group sang that peace loving chant of 'One-Nil, One-Nil, One-Nil' while claiming victory in accessing the Stones.

There were peaceful groups there - Druids, sun worshippers and those who welcomed the Sun with personal prayer and music. I hope they will be allowed back next year. But I fear that certain people, who really, deep down inside probably couldn't care less whether Stonehenge existed or not, have ruined any progress made in the last ten years towards allowing peaceful solstice celebrations.

Here are stills from video footage I took that morning. I've kept them as small as I can but please be patient while downloading them.

Regards, Neil
June, 1999

Please note:
The times are an hour behind British Summer Time as I hadn't adjusted my video clock.




Text and images, except drawing of Stonehenge, are © Neil Leacy.

Stonehenge illustration by Heywood Summer F.S.A. taken from the book 'Stonehenge, Today and Yesterday' by Frank Steven, published 1924.

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