Invitation to join Garstang's special Remembrance events

Anthony Coppin (left) presenting the poppy apeal donation to David Brewin
Anthony Coppin (left) presenting the poppy apeal donation to David Brewin
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A Lancashire market town is offering members of the public the opportunity to both pay tribute to the fallen and celebrate the centenary of the end of World War One with two Remembrance events on Sunday, November 11.

In addition to the traditional morning parade and church service, members of the public are being invited to gather in Garstang's main street in the evening.

Local historian Paul Smith by the Garstang War Memorial

Local historian Paul Smith by the Garstang War Memorial

The evening event, organised by the Town Council, will include the lighting of a beacon and a Remembrance Cry for Peace by town crier Hilary McGrath.

Town Coun Roger Brooks, who had urged the Town Council to make special arrangements to mark the centenary, is hoping there will be a big public turn-out. He said: “Like many towns and villages throughout the country we are making plans for an open air event.”

This will take place at the Market Cross, next to the Royal Oak, and will include readings and songs. A beacon will be lit by Garstang Mayor Coun Leah Hynes at 7pm, followed by the Cry for Peace.

Coun Brooks said: “The High Street will be closed from 5 30pm and members of the public are invited to assemble at the Market Cross at 6pm and join in the singing. Proceedings will be concluded with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne. The High Street will be reopened at 7.30pm."

Town councillor Roger Brooks - urging the public to attend  Garstang's Remembrance events

Town councillor Roger Brooks - urging the public to attend Garstang's Remembrance events

Those wishing to join the town’s traditional remembrance parade earlier in the day should meet at 9am at the High Street car park,. The parade will proceed to to St Thomas’s Church for a 9.30am service and then to the war memorial on the Croston Road/ High Street junction for wreath laying and a short service at 11 am.

The unveiling of a “There But Not There” silhouette of a soldier ,which is being permanently located in the Arts Centre garden will follow.

The silhouette has been purchased for the town thanks to fund raising by David Brewin, President and Poppy Appeal Organiser of the Garstang branch of the Royal British Legion.

Some £800 was raised with contributions to a GoFundMe page set up by Mr Brewin, collection boxes on local counters and a contribution from Lancashire County Council via a local councillor.

Mr Brewin also praised the Town Council for its recent work to improve the war memorial area, install a new flagpole and benches. He said:“I think it’s fantastic - a really good tribute.”

• Garstang’s 2018 poppy appeal has been given a £110 boost in the run-up to Remembrance Day .The donation, from Garstang Historical Society, was from sales of the book “Garstang’s Great War Heroes” by Paul Smith and Anthony Coppin.

The cheque for £110 was presented to David Brewin by Garstang Historical Society vice-chairman Anthony Coppin at the recently revamped Garstang war memorial.

This week scores of copies of "Garstang's Great War Heroes" have been donated by the society to primary schools in Garstang and Bonds, and are due to be given by staff to pupils next week.

The book tells the stories of the 19 servicemen from Garstang whose names are listed on the Great War plaque of Garstang War Memorial. Copies of the book are on sale, price £5, from Market Place News, Garstang.

Co-author Paul Smith will be giving his final lecture in his Great War series of lectures on Sunday, November 11, at 7.30pm at St Thomas's parish / community hall off Church Street. Tickets are £5 from Market Place News.