Poppy Appeal team is targeting higher total

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The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Longridge was marked for the first time by a short service in St Paul’s Church last Friday.

Poppy organiser Bill Houghton welcomed town mayor and mayoress Coun David and Sheila Moon, his team of poppy volunteers, British Legion branch members and the public to the service, taken by vicar the Rev David Anderson.

Mr Houghton highlighted the current conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and other parts of the world as stark reminders that Remembrance Day stood for them as well as First and Second World Wars and other conflicts.

“We are reminded every day so I feel we will achieve a really good response from the Longridge public to our appeal this year,” said Mr Houghton.

“It is usually very good, so let’s hope we add to the £11,000 collected last year and increase our target.”

Coun Moon thanked the Legion branch members for encouraging local uniformed to take part in the poppy sales.

He also praised the example of the local schools’ cluster which is to present Simon Wallis’s Forget Me Not wartime tribute on Remembrance Day itself, Monday November 11, in Preston Guild Hall.

The short serviceat the launch, led by the vicar, took place in the church’s side chapel where remembrance wreaths are placed at the memorials for both World Wars.

Traditionally the Longridge branch of the Royal British Legion has organised remembrance events in the town, but last year due to the declining membership of the branch, the town council provided assistance.

Following last Friday’s launch of the poppy appeal, the formal opening of the Garden of Remembrance at the War Memorial on Berry Lane will takeplace this Saturday, November 2, the vicar taking the service at 11am.

For Remembrance Sunday, November 10, the traditional parade will meet at the Legion premises on Towneley Road to set off at 10.45am, marshalled by Andrew Brierley and led by Longridge Band.

Ireland’s Taxis minibus will follow the parade for anyone wishing to take part but who would find walking hard. The parade will halt for a short service led by Father David Chinnery at the War Memorial at 10.50 am, when wreaths will be laid and two minutes silence observed.

The parade will then go to St Paul’s Church for the Remembrance Day Service at 11.30 am, returning to the Legion Club where tea, coffee and biscuits will be served.

On Monday November 11, for World War One’s Armistice Day signing at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Rev David will lead a short service at the War Memorial starting at 10.45am, with the two minutes silence being observed at 11am. The public is asked to gather at 10.45am for this important observance of the signing of the armistice for the First World War.