Lighting marks town’s sacrifice
LEEK is paying its respects to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War by lighting up the town’s most prominent building – thanks to a group of volunteers.
The concept of doing something special to the Nicholson War Memorial to mark 100 years since the armistice, was suggested by Leek builder John Hayes on the ‘Cheering about Leek’ Facebook page.
A team of volunteers, Anthony ‘Swog’ Beetham, Shaun Beetham, John Povey, Brett Trafford, Dave Swarbrook, Ian Smith and Phil Stubbs – all members of the Friends of Nicholson War Memorial group – then came up with some possible schemes.
Dave Swarbrook contacted Leek town councillor John Povey who asked for written proposals of their ideas. Permission for the final project was granted in mid October.
Mr Swarbrook said: “We discussed options with the Friends of the Nicholson War Memorial and they preferred a red poppy as a recognised symbol of remembrance
“The group had thought of lighting the whole monument red but felt it didn’t seem appropriate.
“We then worked with Gareth Warriner from the Leek branch of the British Legion and decided to change the clockface to a poppy.
“Red theatrical gel has been used to alter the clockface lighting and handmade masking profiles give a poppy silhouette.”
The special lighting was switched on at 6pm on Sunday, November 4 and will run to Saturday, November 17.
In a separate move, post cards commemorating fallen soldiers from Leek are now being delivered to their former homes.
The commemorative cards, left, are being sent to the former addresses of the 419 soldiers from the town who perished in the First World War a century ago.
The reverse side of each card gives details of the fallen soldier, including their regiment, where they died and how old they were.
A letter accompanying the postcard, signed by John Povey, Chairman of Friends of the Nicholson War Memorial, asks people living at those houses today to pass on the card to future residents of the property when they move out. The postcards have been produced by Leek Town Council in conjunction with the Friends of Nicholson War Memorial.