In photos: The Summers Solstice at Stone Henge 2013
TODAY more than 20,000 people celebrated the summer solstice at Stonehenge ahead of the £27 million transformation of the site. In the 19th century, visitors were given a small hammer to knock off a piece off the stones. Now you’re lucky if you touch them at all. People are being removed from the Henge. The new car park will be over a mile away. Drivers will take a road tain to the ancient site. The stretch of the A344 which runs beside the monument will be shut and grassed over. There’ll be a shop and a cafe. Seeing the Henge will cost.
I remember visiting as a boy and sitting on the rocks for free, and again as a teenage on my way to the Treworgey Tree Fayre 1989 (Gaye Bikers On Acid made my ears ring for a week).
This year, a few lucky ones – druids, pagans, tourists, New Agers – got within carving distance of the Stones. A police officer told media that “Solstice 2013” had been a success. Yep, it’s been branded. Solstice 2013. STick it on a fridge magnet and cash in.
Superintendent Matt Pullen from Wiltshire Police said:
“Solstice 2013 [wail! gnash!] has been a great success with approximately 21,000 people celebrating in the positive, friendly atmosphere as they waited for sunrise. The weather held but unfortunately the cloud cover was too dense to see the sun come up. The majority of people respected the conditions of entry and the amnesty bins provided were used. Approximately 70 cannabis street warnings were issued. As with previous years, the passive drugs dogs proved very effective. The success of the event depends largely on the good nature of those attending and we are pleased that people could enjoy solstice in the spirit of the event.”
Sure. Because the 70 weed smokers were hellbent on smashing the place up.