Last week was busy from a ‘Chairman’ viewpoint with various meetings including;

  • discussions about how Local Government Re organisation will affect the Town Council
  • meeting the WRAG Chairman (Wimborne Residents for Action Group) to find out about their objectives and discuss how they can work more closely with the Council
  • being interviewed by Dorchester community radio station about the roles of Mayor and Chairman
  • discussing building upgrades with a builder (to accommodate the staff we need and modenise for the future
  • general weekly briefing with the Town Clerk and Deputy Mayor – this is where we discuss ongoing projects, up coming meetings and any issues.

So if that wasn’t varied enough, the week ended with the most spectacular of events with the ‘Battles Over’ – Beacon Lighting at Wimborne Cemetery.  But first;

Royal British Legion Remembrance Service Sunday 11th November 2018

Each year the RBL organise a special service.  This year was even more special with it being 100 years since the end of the first world war and the 11th was actually on the Sunday.  After a church remembrance service in the morning, the RBL service took place at 3pm in the afternoon.  I got to the Legion at 2pm where there was already quite a large gathering of various military service personnel, the Freemasons, Guides, Scouts, Standard Bearers and the Wessex Military Band.

Ready for the service

At 2:30 we were organised into the parade in the correct order (it has to be done just right)!  And we set off for the Minster shortly afterwards.  The streets were lined with people, many taking photos and video so I’m sure they’ll pop up somewhere!  I was otherwise engaged so my pictures are somewhat lacking this time!  As we entered the Square, it was totally packed and the crowds started clapping – all the while the marching band playing away from the back.  It was quite emotional because of course, they weren’t clapping for us, they were clapping for all of the the fallen.

We moved down the High Street, still lined by very many people and up Cook Row and down the path to the Minster.  As the Standard bearers parted, I was first to enter the Minster and was ‘hived off’ to the back whilst everyone else in the parade took their seats.

At the back I joined the Deputy Lord-Leutenant, Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt who currently is the head of the Queens household (I think I’ve seen him on a recent TV programme about the monarch but I didn’t let on).  He was an extremely nice guy, very chatty, telling us about how he lives in Portland, his time in the navy but was also interested to ask questions of us and listen to the answers!

On the Green

The wreaths

The Chairman and Leader of EDDC were also there as was the PCC and his wife.  When everyone was seated, the group of us processed down the aisle to the front of the Church for the service.  The church was full including those that had to stand throughout.  Many people stood outside too and the service was played out via speakers and the Order of Services were distributed.  After a very wet morning, the sun shone throughout so worked well for all those that remained outside for the service.

Afterwards we took our places on the Minster Green for the poppy laying.  All the names of the fallen from Wimborne were read out from a few different speakers whilst all those that had wreaths to lay, walked up to the memorial one by one.  I laid one on behalf of the Town Council.

After this part of the service, the crowd dispersed and myself and the other dignitaries walked up to the Natwest bank on West Borough ahead of the rest of the parade were a small stage was set to receive the salute when the parade went by.  We took our places and waited for the band to lead the various groups up.  As they neared the stage, the ‘leader’ of each group shouted ‘Eyes left’!  At which point the whole group had to salute and look towards us.

The parade reached the RBL again and then we followed for light refreshments before the next event at 6pm!