The Jubilee Stone, which lies on the triangle at the junction of Main Street and Back Lane, was erected just after 1887 to mark the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Funding for this project was £20, which was made up from what was left from the Village Jubilee celebrations fund and some additional donations. In today’s money £20 would be worth £1440 - still good value!
The Obelisk from Back Lane looking towards Cross House
Following true village traditions, a committee was set up to design the obelisk with inscriptions on each side, including mileage to nearby towns and villages.
Notes from the meeting stated.....
" At a meeting held in the school room of the subscribers, [with] Captain Case Walker in the chair it was decided to apply the above amount to the erection of a suitable memorial on the triangular bit of turf at the cross roads opposite Mr. Cross's house. Captain Case Walker, Mr. Hollins, Mr. Dudley and Mr. Slade were appointed in committee to carry out the above resolution - The committee decided to erect a square stone obelisk with the following inscriptions upon it:"
|VR||Teddington Cross 1½||Ashton 2||Overbury 1¾|
|Jubilee||Cleeve 6||Elmley Castle 5½||Kemerton 2½|
|1887||Cheltenham 9¼||Pershore 8¾||Bredon 4|
|Beckford||Ashchurch 4||Dumbleton 3||Tewkesbury 7|
|Tewkesbury 6||Broadway 9||Eckington 6|
|Gloucester 16½||Evesham 7¼||Pershore 10|
|Upton on Severn 12¾||Alderton 2½||Upton on Severn 10|
|Malvern 19¾||Winchcombe 6||Malvern 17|
|Toddington 5¼||Worcester 18|
The obelisk, showing the original railings
At some point, care of the stone passed to the Parish Council, which was formed in 1894. During the war, in common with many other railings around Beckford, the Jubilee Stone’s protective railings were taken for the war effort. They were not replaced.
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth was recorded on the monument in 1953 with an inscription. The Parish children were given Coronation Mugs by the Parish Council.
In 1998 Beckford Parish Council decided to refurbish this monument. They found out that repairs could only be carried out using stone of the same colour. The column is made of Portland Stone, which is more durable than the local limestone (Cotswold) stone. A grant was obtained from Wychavon “Rural Enhancements” fund so that the eroded panels could be repaired with Portland stone. In January 1999 a contractor had been chosen but permission had to be sought under “Listed Building Consent”. This was received and two weeks work started in March 1999.
The more modern black and white signpost that now stands at the cross roads does not agree with the mileages listed on the memorial - Overbury is 1 mile away, (not 1¾), Kemerton is 2 miles away (not 2½), Teddington is 2 miles away, (not 1½), Alderton is 3 miles (not 2½), Evesham is 7 (not 7¼) and Winchcombe is shown as 7 miles but is only 6 miles on the Jubilee Stone. Perhaps people had shorter feet in 1887!
As it is a Listed Monument these are the details held by Wychavon in 2006:
The Jubilee Stone of Beckford is unique and adds character to the village crossroads. Its picture is used as a logo on the Parish Council Newsletter and features in cards, postcards and embroidery.
The Jubilee Stone as it appears today...
Photocopies of meetings held in Beckford from Phil Smith's records.
Parish Council Newsletters dated 1998 and 1999. Email from Wychavon D.C
Postcards and old photos from Phil Smith.
Colour photos and information supplied by Yo Yates.
ED: Thanks to Geoff Coupe for completing the words from the meeting minutes.