A SEAFRONT beacon has been branded “underwhelming” by people celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
More than £15,000 funding was secured last year to install LED lights on the beacon as a celebration of the Queen’s 70 year anniversary on the throne.
But some spectators were expecting a real fire and have expressed their disappointment at the lighting last night.
Robert Nemeth, Conservative councillor for Wish Ward, pleaded for people to “give it a chance”.
He said the feature will live on as a permanent reminder of the jubilee and praised the effort of volunteers to provide a free event for more than 3,000 people.
Doug Hillman, from Hove, said the night was a waste of his time and he could not hear what was being said on the PA system.
He said: “That was one hour of my life I will never get back.
“Several hundred people turned up to witness the promised lighting together with bellringing, speeches and singers.
“The new electric lighting which was supposed to represent a wood brazier appeared to be a few dimly lit twigs and was entirely underwhelming.”
Other members of the public shared similar criticisms on Facebook.
Raymond Price branded the beacon as “pathetic” – while Thomas Banks described the cost of the beacon as “disgraceful”.
The money allocated to the beacon included design, installation of the lights, connection to the power grid including digging a trench and maintenance.
The beacon will turn on every night automatically as a permanent fixture on Hove seafront.
Several people on social media were in support of the beacon and the jubilee event.
Gail Branch said: “It brought the community together. Instead of being lit once in a while, it’s going to be a permanent feature of that corner of the promenade.”
Barry Foley added: “It will serve as a long-term reminder of the Platinum Jubilee unlike the admittedly more dramatic real fire beacons.
“The weather was kind and last night was an opportunity for all locals to congregate, chat and raise a glass. Well done to all involved.”
Former councillor Joe Miller secured the funding in the budget council in February 2021. The idea was originally put forward by Cllr Nemeth and councillor Garry Peltzer-Dunn as a yearly lighting.
However, a more environmentally friendly idea to use LED lighting was put forward rather than a traditional beacon.
Cllr Nemeth told The Argus: “In the absence of a council policy to light our local beacons with fire, I’m proud that we as volunteers were able to provide a large-scale free event on a shoe-string budget for upwards of 3,000 people.
“Although the switch-on of the long-awaited permanent, subtle, LED scheme is not the same as real fire, it ultimately serves a different purpose and will live on as a reminder of the Jubilee once every other fire has been extinguished.
“The music was excellent, the atmosphere wonderful and the weather perfect. I would happily try to organise a community event with real fire in the future if enough people are up for helping.
“Such things take a serious amount of work to put on though, which may often not be apparent. I am hugely grateful to all who helped and supported this time.”
Brighton and Hove City Council has been approached for comment.