Weather failed to dampen Summer Solstice
Tuesday 21 June 2011
Poor weather could not dampen the spirits of 18,000 people who welcomed the sun at Stonehenge at dawn this morning for the Summer Solstice.
The annual pagan celebration of the sun, on the longest day of the year, centred on the famous prehistoric monument in Wiltshire.
The number of people who camped out overnight or arrived early to witness the dawn was down on previous years because of poor weather and the solstice falling on a weekday.
There was no beautiful sunrise into clear blue skies - heavy overnight rain gave way at around 5am to overcast but dry skies as the sun rose, which was greeted by cheering and applause.
Police said the event had passed off very peacefully, with just 20 arrests.
Druid protester King Arthur Pendragon, who led the event, said it had passed off smoothly.
"We didn't get a great sunrise but it was dry," he said.
"Everyone seems happy with the result.
"It is great to see the stones being used in this way, as opposed to the usual manner with tourists being herded around."
Stonehenge, which is between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, has been the site of confrontations between worshippers, other revellers and police officers in some past years.
But Superintendent Gavin Williams, of Wiltshire Police, said the majority of the 18,000 people this year were well-behaved and "came to see the sunrise in the spirit of the event", which was policed in the same way as night spots in the county.
Of the 20 arrests, 11 were for drugs offences and five for public order offences. In addition, 47 drug seizures were made.
"Although it was disappointing that some individuals chose to bring drugs with them, they were dealt with robustly," Mr Williams added.
English Heritage, which manages the Stonehenge site, near Amesbury on Salisbury Plain, said the atmosphere had been "peaceful and good natured".
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 2 Orange Is The New Black has not been cancelled – it was a hoax
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£45000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...
£33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...
£35000 - £55000 per annum + BONUS + BENS: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Penet...