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People urged to turn out to support town's Peace Day centenary celebrations

PUBLISHED: 09:55 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:14 18 July 2019

Crowds at the Dereham Peace Day in 1919. Picture: Gordon Olley Archive

Crowds at the Dereham Peace Day in 1919. Picture: Gordon Olley Archive

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Come out to make the Dereham Peace Day celebrations a massive success.

Races at the Dereham Peace Day in 1919. Picture: Gordon Olley ArchiveRaces at the Dereham Peace Day in 1919. Picture: Gordon Olley Archive

That's the plea to people of the town as final preparations are made ahead of Saturday's day of events.

A parade of returning soldiers who are arriving by steam train, local characters in period costumes, a church service, afternoon of games and fun on the Rec and a free tea for local pensioners are among the highlights of the day, which will mark 100 years since peace was celebrated in the town after the first world war.

In the run-up to Saturday's big day, local shops have been decorating their windows and judges will pick a winner on Thursday.

Crowds at the Dereham Peace Day in 1919. Picture: Gordon Olley ArchiveCrowds at the Dereham Peace Day in 1919. Picture: Gordon Olley Archive

Peace Day is replacing the town carnival for this year.

Organiser Judy Rogers said: "The Dereham Carnival Committee want to celebrate the Peace Day Centenary by providing the town with a really memorable event with something to interest everyone.

"The idea is to recreate our Peace Day activities as far as possible."

A soldier is ready for the Dereham Peace Day celebrations. Picture: The Royal Norfolk RegimentA soldier is ready for the Dereham Peace Day celebrations. Picture: The Royal Norfolk Regiment

The Baptist Church will give out a special copy of Luke's account of the story of Jesus's life to 100 children as they did on the original day.

Mrs Rogers said: "Whatever the weather the event will go ahead. Be prepared and bring a brolly!"

At 9am the soldiers will arrive on a steam train at the Mid Norfolk Railway station. They will be met by visitors from 1919 before a guard of honour, organised by the Royal British Legion, takes place. A special viewing area is being set up for the public. RBL members will lead a march with army personnel to the Market Place.

Personnel ready for the Dereham Peace Day celebrations. Picture: The Royal Norfolk RegimentPersonnel ready for the Dereham Peace Day celebrations. Picture: The Royal Norfolk Regiment

At 10am an inter-denominational Peace Day service will take place at St Nicholas Church. It will be attended by the 1919 visitors, soldiers and invited guests, including the families of men whose names appear on Dereham's war memorial plus families of men who survived the Great War. It is also open to anyone else who wants to go.

The rest of the programme:
-10.45am - Church bells will ring.

-Noon - The 1919 visitors and soldiers will have lunch at the King's Head, where people are invited to share a pint or two with them.

Personnel ready for the Dereham Peace Day celebrations. Picture: The Royal Norfolk RegimentPersonnel ready for the Dereham Peace Day celebrations. Picture: The Royal Norfolk Regiment

-1pm - The 1919 visitors and soldiers will walk to the Recreation Ground, where an afternoon of activities will begin. There will be a Union Jack parade at 1pm and children are invited to make their own and bring them along. There will also be races including running, novelty, skipping, hobby horse, a free puppet show, exhibitions, cream teas, maypole, side shows, games, entertainment, a fancy dress competition including one with bicycles, prams and pushchairs, and stalls. People are also welcome to bring picnics and there is a free afternoon tea for pensioners who have got a ticket in advance.

You may also want to watch:

Race times:

Personnel ready for the Dereham Peace Day. Picture: The Royal Norfolk RegimentPersonnel ready for the Dereham Peace Day. Picture: The Royal Norfolk Regiment

-1.15pm - Children's Union Jack parade;

-1.25pm - Dance With Me display on race track;

-1.45pm - Fancy dress competitions - bicycles, prams, children and adults;

Re-enactors will be part of the Dereham Peace Day 2019 event. Picture: Courtesy of Judy RogersRe-enactors will be part of the Dereham Peace Day 2019 event. Picture: Courtesy of Judy Rogers

-2.15pm - Dance displays at maypole;

-2.30pm - Races begin: 50 yards under fives hobby horse; 100 yards adult egg and spoon; 50 yards under 10s egg and spoon; 50 yards under sixes egg and spoon; 50 yards adult men's sack; 50 yards adult women's sack; 50 yards children's sack; 100 yards men's sprint; 100 yards under 16s sprint boys; 100 yards under 16s sprint girls;

-4pm - Tug of war between the 1919 visitors and soldiers.-4.30pm Presentation of trophies and tug o war - soldiers v civilians.

-4.30pm - Presentations will take place. Here is the full programme for the day:

What else do you need to know?

-Forms - Entries for the fancy dress competitions and the adult and children's races need to be registered with organisers before the day. Entry forms for each event, as well as the children's Peace Day visitors competition, can be collected from and then returned to: Dereham Library, Shoe Doctor, Jacks, All Crafts in Cuthbert Court and The Railway Tavern. You can email info@derehamcarnival.co.uk and ask for the relevant forms. There are also free afternoon tea tickets for pensioners at the locations above.

-Help is needed to load a van up in Scarning on Friday at 6pm and then people are needed to help unload etc at 7.30am on Saturday for about an hour and pack up 5pm on Saturday.

-Peace Day visitors competition - Children have a chance to win a unique engraved Peace Day centenary cup. The children will collect an entry form and then talk to as many visitors and soldiers as they can on the day getting their entry form initiated by each one. The child with the most visitors and soldiers on their form will win the cup.

-Shop windows - All the shops in the town are being encouraged to decorate windows in red, white and blue to celebrate Peace Day. Judging will be on Thursday, July 18, and the winner will receive a cup to place in their window before Peace Day.

-Gift bags - One hundred red, white or blue gift bags will be hidden in Dereham during the week before the celebrations. Each will have a gift for the finder and some information about the event.

-Photographic and video competition - People are invited to take as many pictures as they like and videos of events during the day. These will be displayed on the Dereham Carnival website and the best photograph and video will win engraved centenary cups. Runners up will receive centenary medals.

For more information or to offer help ring Judy Rogers on 07368 394499 or email info@derehamcarnival.co.uk.

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