Bu­gler, bells and piper to take part

Rossendale Free Press - - News -

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’

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