Record Crowds At Stonehenge for Summer Solstice Celebrations

June 21, 2009

Author: Simon de Bruxelles

Source: The Times Online

Papuan dancers waved their hands in the air and went: “Woo, woo, woo”.

Only the guest of honour failed to put in an appearance at Stonehenge.

A record 36,500 people had gathered at the prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain to watch the sun rise. So many turned out to celebrate the solstice that roads had to be shut and the vast field converted into a car park for 6,500 vehicles was full by 3am.

Disappointingly, despite a promising forecast, the sun was unable to break through the thin layer of grey cloud that shrouded the ceremony. But most people did not let that spoil their enjoyment.

The crowds had dispersed by the time it was fully light, revealing the bodies of those who had had too much fun, or had simply had enough, slumbering gently on the grass.

Solstice celebrations have become a summer staple, alongside Wimbledon, Glastonbury and the annual gathering of public school pupils in Rock in Cornwall, at the end of the exams.