Roger Bingham describes the bonfires to mark the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary on June 22, 1911.

"I felt my soul to banner of flame forth-leap, and Carlisle sons and Morecambe’s men might know Old Skiddaw’s heart was loyal to the core.”

So extolled Cannon H.D. Rawnsley, of Keswick, when, as secretary of the National Bonfire Committee, he lit, on Skiddaw’s summit, Engla-nd’s highest Coronation bonfire close to midnight on June 22, 1911.

The lowest bonfire was probably that on the shore at Sandside, near Broughton-in-Furness.

They were among 2,241 Coronation bonfires which included 516 in Scotland, 160 in Ireland and 68 in Wales.

The Isle of Man’s solitary beacon could be seen from Whitehaven’s fire which, at 103 feet, was the tallest in the land.

Milnthorpe’s fire, composed entirely of brushwood collected by the Boy Scouts, was only 35 feet high. Peat, dug at a cost of £7.10s, was Skiddaw’s fuel, while Heysham’s was a joiner-made construction.

Following heavy showers, ‘three acetylene flares’ were needed to ignite Coniston’s fire. At Nenthead they only managed to get a light by ‘rolling against the windward side, tar barrels filled with paraffin papers’.

One newspaper, the Canon gleefully noted, included an article denouncing the ‘master class who make the workers lose two days’ wages for a function (the Corona-tion Bank Holiday) of no interest to them’.

But thinly-populated Westmorland did well enough, with 24 fires, including those at Ambleside, Levens, Grasmere, Heversham, two on Haverbrack for Milnthorpe and Beetham, Levens, Windermere, Whinfell for Kendal, Whitbarrow and Winster.

Fires outside the county were glimpsed on Ingleborough and on the Bowland and Howgill fells.

Already, in 1911, royal bonfires had become a national tradition.

In 1953 when, as the village’s youngest Boy Scout, I lit the Coronation Bonfire on Heversham Head, ‘Old John’ Handley told me he had seen the Jubilee fires for Queen Victoria in 1887 and 1897.

I hope to see the Diamond Jubilee fire next year and wonder whether I’ll see a Platinum Jubilee fire in 2022, or even the Coronation fires for Charles III and/or William V.