A number of poignant events will be held in Loughborough on November 11 to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One.
Charnwood 14-18, organised by the borough council and supported by Love Loughborough, will see people come together in the town centre to remember those who gave their lives in the Great War.
The events include the unveiling of a Charnwood Heritage Plaque, a live showcase in Market Place, a life-size war horse decorated in poppies made by local children and a beacon lighting.
A community poppy cascade of knitted poppies will hang from the balcony of Loughborough Town Hall which will also be hosting a tea dance.
The Royal British Legion will also be conducting its annual Remembrance Parade which will conclude at the Carillon Tower in Queen’s Park where poppies will be scattered from the top.
The Carillon will also take part in a national peal of bells in the evening, the first time they will have rung since the completion of the Council’s £282,000 conservation project.
Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough at Charnwood Borough Council, said: “We are proud to be hosting these commemorative events to mark 100 years since the end of World War One and the sacrifices made by past generations.
“Millions of people laid down their lives in order to protect our freedom and that is something we should never forget.
“We would encourage people to be part of the events in Loughborough and I know there are many other events taking place across the borough. We hope Charnwood 14-18 has captured the spirit of remembrance in a way that is fitting for this important year.”
As part of the commemorations, the Council commissioned artist Jeni Cairns to make a life-sized model of Songster - a warhorse from Loughborough who served between 1914 and 1918 and remarkably made it back to the town safely.
Events on November 11 in Loughborough include:
- the annual Remembrance Day parade in Loughborough with the Royal British Legion and other local groups, ending with a service at the Carillon Tower in Queen’s Park with the traditional, poignant cascade of poppies and the two-minute silence at 11am. The parade will then head to the Market Place for the salute
- the unveiling of a Charnwood Heritage Plaque in Market Place. The location was used by as a gathering point by troops at the outbreak of the war. Photographs from the time and articles in the Loughborough Echo say the 5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment met in the Market Place on August 11, 1914 before heading off to join the conflict.
- a live showcase event in the Market Place will feature performances by schools, Loughborough University, theatre groups, singers and storytellers. A Remembrance Wall (funded by the Market Traders) will feature named crosses for every fallen soldier in Charnwood, and street food will be available on Market Street throughout the day. All this will be captured on a big screen
- a tea dance at Loughborough Town Hall
the lighting of a beacon in Queen’s Park at 7pm as part of a nationwide beacon-lighting scheme. Beacons were lit after the war to symbolise the ‘light of hope’ that emerged from the darkness after the four long years of war.
- a recital at the Carillon just after 7pm when church bells across the country are being urged to join a national peal of bells
- the Sock Gallery at Loughborough Town Hall will also be hosting a family workshop to create a memorial quilt inspired by World War One souvenir cards.
A full programme of events in Loughborough can be found on the council website. Simply visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/WW1
Parking is free in Council car parks on November 11 (except Browns Lane). However, Granby Street car park will be closed for most of the day due to the dismantling of a fairground rides from Loughborough Fair which finishes on November 10. The Council is encouraging people to use other nearby car parks including Beehive Lane, Southfields Road and Southfields offices car parks.