Town's scaled back ceremony to mark annual Merchant Navy Day
BARNARD Castle was one of the few places in the country to commemorate Merchant Navy Day, albeit in a very scaled-back fashion.
Most services, which pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of seafarers past and present, were cancelled this year across England and those that did paid heed to Seafarers UK’s letter to host low key events.
The commemoration, organised by Barnard Castle Town Council, was concluded within two minutes and was limited to the raising of the Red Ensign and the laying of three wreaths. Although there was no religious service or sounding of a bugle, the commemoration was appreciated by those who attended. Capt Pat Thompson of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Association said: “Compliments to Barnard Castle Town Council – even the London parade on Sunday was cancelled, yet here in Barney in the middle of the countryside, it has gone ahead.”
The Red Ensign was raised by town mayor Cllr John Blissett and wreaths were laid by Capt Thompson, Merchant Navy veteran Dave Moore, on behalf of the Vindicatrix Association, and Cllr Richard Child on behalf of Barnard Castle Town Council.