Music and memories at Great Yarmouth’s own Festival of Remembrance
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Handmade poppy petals cascading from above was the culmination of a poignant remembrance tribute in Great Yarmouth yesterday evening, where almost 250 people paid their respects.
The Festival of Remembrance, Great Yarmouth's version of the national festival at London's Royal Albert Hall, was introduced last year as a one-off to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.
But after tickets sold out last year, and public demand mounted, organisers Great Yarmouth Borough Council and former BBC Radio Norfolk broadcaster, Tony Mallion decided to bring the commemoration back to St George's Theatre for another year.
Tickets sold out again this year, and it is hoped that hundreds of pounds will have again been raised for the Royal British Legion and the Great Yarmouth Salvation Army.
The evening featured live patriotic music, poems and readings, plus film footage showing Great Yarmouth in wartime, produced by local schoolchildren.
The Dusmagrik Young People's Theatre Company, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary, staged a special war song show at Easter and adapted some of the well-known numbers as a medley, as well as including a performance of the Dam Busters March. The audience were also invited to take part in Last Night of the Proms-style patriotic songs, with a salute to forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn.
Plus members of the crew of HMS Dauntless, for which Great Yarmouth is the adopted port, spoke about their work as a reminder that conflicts continue. The remembrance service section, led by the mayor's chaplain, The Rev Albert Cadmore, included a number of British Legion and other flags as well as the two-minute silence and hymns.
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Mr Mallion, who also hosted the event, said: 'The fact the festival sold out, and in such a short period, shows the huge public desire to remember those who have sacrificed so much during conflict, and also to raise money for good causes.'
Mayor of Great Yarmouth Councillor Shirley Weymouth added: 'Great Yarmouth is simply the best putting on this festival to remember those people who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
I would like to thank GYBC working in partnership with former BBC Radio Norfolk broadcaster Tony Mallion, the Salvation Army's brass band, the local branch of the Royal British Legion and St Georges Theatre who have made this festival of remembrance possible.
And also a thank you to the children of St George's Infant School for making the poppy petals, the young peoples theatre and the school children who made the film. The children are the ones that will carry on remembering once we are no longer here.
I am very proud to be the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, the borough achieves so much by working together we are simply the best.'