Bugler, bells and piper to take part
WHITWORTH Town Council is also playing its part in Battle’s Over, an international commemoration marking 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War.
A lone bugler will sound the Last Post at 6.55pm on Sunday, November 11 at Lobden Golf Club, Whitworth. All are welcome to mark this momentous occasion.
It will be followed at 7pm by a Beacon of Light which will be lit on the Top of Brown Wardle Hill, Whitworth, and then at 7.05pm St Bartholomew’s church bells will Ring Out for Peace.
A celebration evening commemorating a century since the signing of the Armistice on Saturday, November 10 is also sold out.
Organised by Pageant master Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Battle’s Over sees events throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and at scores of locations overseas, including New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Bermuda, France, Belgium, Canada, the United States and Germany, to name but a few.
A lone piper will also play at Helmshore War Memorial at 6am on Sunday, November 11 as part of the centenary commemorations.
HERE we reproduce a 1918 Free Press report on how the news of peace reached the borough:
RAWTENSTALL received the joyful news on Monday about eleven in the forenoon.
There was no public announcement.
It came over the telephone wires from different sources (mainly, however, from Manchester) into the offices of the different works and factories.
It came also to the police station, to the public library (this message came from Burnley), and to the Town Hall, and, in a very short time, it had spread in an extraordinary rapid way throughout the whole district. To many people, the hoisting of the flags on the public buildings and the mills gave the initial intimation of the glad news.
Most of the slipper factories ceased work almost immediately and the operatives poured out of the doors into the streets, which quickly took on an unwanted appearance for 11 o’clock on a Monday forenoon.
Very quickly, other flags and bunting began to flutter from the windows of houses and shops, vari-coloured streamers stretched across the streets from house to house, and practically within an hour, the whole borough was in gala dress.
One marvelled where all the flags and festoons and bunting had suddenly sprung from.
In many cases they were the relicts of former fete days before the war and which had been stored away in the darkness of cupboards and drawers during the four long years.
In other cases they bore the stamp of newness, purchased during the past few weeks in intelligent anticipation of the near approach of the great day.
Scores of people who had neither old flags, nor had taken steps to secure new ones, raided the shops where such things were to be had, and by noon, there were few establishments especially in the centre of Rawtenstall or Waterfoot, where a bit of coloured material of any description was purchasable.
Immediately after the dinner hour, the main streets of the borough rapidly began to assume a holiday aspect, and throughout the whole afternoon there was a real festal throng.
Even the weather contrived to take part in the glad rejoicing, for, as ignoring the calendar, the sun shone down out of a bright sky and although there was somewhat chilly wind, the conditions for the time of the year were altogether congenial.
There was little that the people could do beyond walk about, fraternise with each other, and take a passing interest in the decorations. Tram car riding was out of the question for the whole of the tramway staff ceased work at noon and the service on all the sections was entirely suspended.
This, of course, made it rather inconvenient for those who found it necessary to get to one or another of the distant parts of the borough, but it was an inconvenience cheerfully put up with under the circumstances.
In the evening, those who desired to attend the theatre, or picture halls had, likewise, to make the journey to and fro afoot.
During the afternoon, and also in the evening, in some cases, merry peals were rung from practically all the local belfries.
Boys so long deprived of a real Guy Fawkes Day began to gather branches of trees and other consumable things, and as darkness drew in, there were many respectable bonfires.
Fireworks, too, suddenly appeared for sale and they were rapidly purchased.
A thanksgiving service was held at St Mary’s Church, Rawtenstall, within two hours of the receipt of the news of the signing of the armistice. The church was entirely filled, a large portion of the congregation was held in the evening.
Included in the decorations of Monday afternoon was a live goat from New Hall Hey Hospital which swathed a flag and was led about the streets by a number of the wounded soldiers.
The proprietor of a tripe and pea refreshments house at Waterfoot, noted for his rather original window advertisements, strung across Burnley Road a large motto bearing the words ‘Peas, perfect peas.’
Some of the cotton mills resumed work on Tuesday morning, but only for a very short period.
There was manifestly no desire for work amongst the operatives so at breakfast time, the latter were sent home again until (in most cases) Thursday morning.
The slipper factories connected with the local manufacturing association ‘played’ until Thursday morning.
To signalise the great occasion it was decided that the operatives should be presented with an armistice bonus of £1 for all persons 21 years of age; 15s for those between 18 and 21; and 10s for those between 16 and 18.
Men serving with the colours are all to be treated as over 21, and the bonus is likewise to be paid to dependents of those who have fallen.
At Waterfoot, a red flag which had been hung out of the bedroom window by a well-known C.O. and Socialist so irritated a certain old army pensioner that on Tuesday night, he affixed a light to a clothes prop and, reaching up to the flag, set it on fire.
A well-known Waterfoot doctor decorated his motor car with festoons of small flags and bunting.
Not only the whole of the day schools in the borough, but also the evening schools, were given a full week’s holiday.
The Secondary School at Waterfoot likewise closed.
In commemoration of the Allies’ victory, the bell ringers of St Mary’s Church, Rawtenstall, rang a Date Touch (1918 changes) of Grandsire Triples for the thanksgiving service on Monday evening.
This touch was rung in one hour and eight minutes, the ringers standing as follows: Treble, S. W. Riley, 2 G. E. Rollerson, 3 T. Rollerson, 4 H. H. Shaw, 5 G. H. Hargreaves (conductor), 6 A Newman, 7 J. Rollerson, 8 E. Timbers.
At the Parish Church, Newchurch, a special thanksgiving service was held on Monday evening, and was well attended.
The ringers also rang a merry peal in the afternoon.
For the first half-hour they were raised to full mast. Goodshaw Prize Band went on parade on Monday from Crawshawbooth to Rawtenstall. By invitation, they ascended the balcony of the theatre and rendered national airs, etc., to the delight of the huge crowd who gathered in Queen’s Square.
The band continued to play until dusk.
‘Even the weather contrived to take part in the glad rejoicing’