Communities pause to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice
CHILDREN from Bowes Hutchinson’s Primary School gathered around their entrance porch on November 11 to hear the bell rung at 11am by Martin Sayer to mark the return of the school bell to its rightful position.
The bell has been lovingly restored and it bears the inscription Bowes 1858.
Then on Remembrance Sunday, Revd Philip Greenhalgh led worship at an act of remembrance to those from the village who gave their lives in the two world wars.
He also dedicated the “Tommy” silhouettes, which are a permanent reminder at St Giles’ Church of the sacrifice that they made.
In Piercebridge, a huge community effort resulted in a stunning Remembrance Sunday display.
People of all ages and walks of life helped to produce more than 1,500 poppies to decorate the three entrances to the village and a main display at the church.
Community organiser Debbie Taylor McDonald said more than 20 residents were involved in the project that was started early in September.
The idea began during Remembrance Day last year when, during the Covid-19 lockdown, a crafty villager put out plastic poppies they had created from bottles.
Ms Taylor McDonald said: “We had a couple of sessions where we cut and sprayed poppies. Barbara Gunn took the lead on that.
“We got Shirley Chalmers to teach the rest of us how to crochet – complete novices who had never crocheted before produced 50 to 100 poppies.”
Some 500 plastic poppies were created which were placed at the village entrances and about 1,000 crocheted and knitted poppies were placed around the entrance arch of the church.
The village has six “Tommy” silhouettes which would normally be placed on the green, but instead the group decided this year to place them in a semi-circle at the church.
Another group member, Tia Cameron-Swan, roped in the five children aged between four and seven, to produce a wreath of poppies made from felt.
This was placed on the gate at the church.
Ms Taylor McDonald said: “We made the church very much the centre point.”
Of the project’s success, she added: “It very much pulled in people from different walks of life and different age groups. The village has really pulled together since the pandemic – it has been brilliant.”
Children were noticeably absent during Evenwood’s annual Service of Remembrance as schools continue to grapple with a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Nevertheless, a crowd of parish councillors, county councillors, police, veterans and members of the general public turned out for the poignant event led by chaplain Commander Revd Dr Norman Dennis.
Wreaths were laid by Cllr James Cosslett, on behalf of Durham County Council, Cllr Barbara Nicholson, on behalf of Evenwood and Barony Parish Council, which organised the event, and PCSO Josh Holmes on behalf of Durham Constabulary.
Headteachers of Evenwood and Ramshaw primary schools Stacey Rand and Liz Sturrock laid wreaths on behalf of the children.
Ms Rand said: “The children were disappointed they could not be here because they do love coming, but we did do things in school for them.”