FINAL preparations are underway for an extra special Remembrance event in Tamworth on Sunday November 11 to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
This year the traditional parade will finish in the Castle Grounds where it will be greeted by choirs and a stunning cascade of thousands of poppies which is being hung from the top of Tamworth Castle.
We Will Remember has been organised to mark the end of four years of special events in honour of the World War One years.
The parade will muster at Ladybridge from 10.20am and is due to set off around 10.30am. Coventry Jaguar Band will lead the parade of standards, former service men and women, DMS Whittington, sea cadets, army cadets, air training corps, police, fire service, St John Ambulance, scouts, cubs, guides, brownies and the boys brigade as it makes its way through the town centre to the war memorial outside St Editha’s Church.
There will then be a wreath laying, the last post and an 11am silence, before a service in the church to be led by Vicar of Tamworth, Rev Alan Gordon.
After the service, the parade will head to the Town Hall for the traditional salute and then this year make its way into the Castle Grounds, rather than the Town Hall, where it will form on the lower lawn for a formal address and salute. It will be met by the Mercian Singers, Tamworth Voices and Tamworth Ladies Choir singing Land of Hope and Glory.
The parade will also be able to view the poppy cascade from the top of Tamworth Castle – an impressive community project which has brought people from across the town together to make poppies out of used plastic bottles.
Thousands of poppies have been created and attached to nets which will be hung from the top of the Castle ahead of the Remembrance Sunday events.
The ‘poppyfying’ is a joint project between Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, Tamworth Castle and Tamworth Ladymeadow WI, which has led the poppy-making efforts.
Contributors have included guides, brownies, pupils from Flax Hill Junior School, Birds Bush Primary School and Two Rivers High School, Tamworth Community Together CIC, Bright Crescent sheltered housing residents, the George Bryan Centre, Briars Barn, St John Ambulance, other WI groups and people of all ages across the town who took up the challenge of making poppies at home. Oceans of Tamworth fish bar in Belgrave helped by acting as a collection point and offering a free cone of chips to people in exchange for their completed poppies. Ankerside Shopping Centre supported the project by providing the WI with a base of operations and poppy drop-off point in one of the centre’s units, while B&Q and Roosters helped by supplying equipment.
Members of the WI group have also been busy poppyfying other parts of Tamworth including St Editha’s Square and the Castle Grounds Bandstand in a colourful town centre tribute.
Weather permitting, the intention is for the cascade to remain in place for a few days, to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see it in all its glory. It will then be taken down and kept for future display and use in events.
Cllr John Chesworth, Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “We Will Remember is set to be a truly poignant spectacle. I expect it will be quite an emotional moment when the choirs are singing and the parade is formed in the Castle Grounds in front of the poppy cascade.
“The poppyfying has been a wonderful community project and to have so many people coming together to work on it is a lovely tribute to those who fought for this country all those years ago.
“A lot of hard work has gone into the cascade, especially by the members of Tamworth Ladymeadow WI, who agreed to take on the ambitious challenge many months ago. The aim was to create 4,000 poppies and thanks to their time and effort and the valuable help they’ve received from community groups and members of the public, that target has been achieved.
“There’s also the added environmental benefit of plastic bottles being re-used in a community art installation which we will keep for future use. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of everyone’s hard work at We Will Remember on Sunday.”
The parade is expected to arrive in the Castle Grounds at around 12.30pm, but this is only an estimate and could change on the day.
For more information on We Will Remember and other events in the annual programme organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team, please visit www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk/whats-on, where you can also sign up to receive all the latest news and offers.