The threat of no Remembrance observance in Longridge this year has been lifted by the council and individuals stepping in to secure the event.
The town’s long-held tradition was in jeopardy following the closure of the Royal British Legion branch men’s section almost a year ago.
But following the town council’s pledge to fill the vacuum, plus businessman and appeal organiser Bill Houghton and his new team’s launch of the Poppy Appeal, plans are now in place for the Remembrance Sunday parade, wreath laying, the church service and the street collections.
Longridge Mayor Coun Rose Adamson and Coun David Moon, together with town clerk Steve Barsby, are to lead the organising, and ex-serviceman and Longridge business owner Michael Woods has also pledged his support.
It was hoped that, together with the appeal committee, those who had agreed to help might be able to form a nucleus of people for a Remembrance Day Committee, which might eventually be re-absorbed into a re-formed Legion branch
The threat to the event, discussed at last week’s council meeting, was because the Legion men’s section had no committee to continue the task, but the council also had part responsibility for it, councillors heard.
Coun Adamson said: “The Remembrance parade is supposed to be a civic parade and that means the council takes their share of it to make sure it doesn’t fold.”
At the launch of the Poppy Appeal on October 10, new organiser Bill Houghton welcomed the mayor, Longridge vicar the Rev David Anderson, Legion women’s section members Irene Parkinson and May Squires, plus the ATC’s Chris Parkinson to the meeting.
All agreed the format for Remembrance Sunday’s parade, with Mr Houghton stressing : “After the threat of it not taking place, we were unanimous in saying this cannot be allowed to happen. We appeal to all ex-servicemen and women to get in touch with us, as, led by the town council, we are trying to form a nucleus of ex-service men and women interested in taking on the job of arranging the Remembrance Day Parade.
“We also appeal for volunteers to help distribute the poppies and collecting tins. If you can help with just a small number of premises to visit, please ring me on 01772 784454 or leave a message if I am not in and I will ring you straight back.”
He added: “This years Paralympics have sharpened our minds and made us appreciate just how much is done to help our disabled achieve their ambitions. The Royal British Legion has been at the forefront rehabilitating members of the armed services injured serving their country. They are able to do this because of the money raised at public events and the annual Poppy Appeal.
“I am sure you all appreciate the effort and sacrifice made by our armed forces whilst they are doing their duty.”
Irene Parkinson, women’s section chairman for the past 20 years and a committee member for 40 years, said she was very pleased with the progress made, but also stressed that new members were needed and would be welcome at monthly meetings and the AGM on October 30.
Advance plans for Remembrance Sunday are: the parade will form at the Royal British Legion Club at 10am, proceed as usual to Stonebridge, return along Derby Road, up Berry Lane to arrive at the Garden of Remembrance a few minutes before 11am, then to St Paul’s Church for 11.20am.
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Weather for Longridge
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
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Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
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