An­nual ex­plo­sions caused dam­age to roof of pub in town

Leek Post & Times - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

THE cur­rent in­ter­est in the 1918 Armistice com­mem­o­ra­tion has brought back mem­o­ries of my early life in the mar­ket place.

My grand­par­ents re­turned from nearly 20 years in South­ern Rhode­sia (now Zim­babwe) in 1915.

My fa­ther, Rud­yard Mee, was then 18 and came back to join the Army.

On Armistice Day in 1918 the two min­utes’ si­lence was marked by the fir­ing of ma­roons at the start and fin­ish.

They were fired from the flat roof of the Red Lion Ho­tel by em­ploy­ees of John West the Iron­mon­ger in Derby Street (my grand­mother’s brother).

This set the scene for a num­ber of years and I re­mem­ber hear­ing the loud bangs while I was at school in Stock­well Street.

Even­tu­ally, the prac­tice had to be dis­con­tin­ued as the an­nual ex­plo­sions on the ho­tel roof caused dam­age to the sur­face and it be­came ex­pen­sive to re­pair!

Dur­ing the suc­ceed­ing years, my fa­ther pro­vided a fire­work dis­play from the roof ev­ery Novem­ber 5 and crowds gath­ered in the Mar­ket Place to en­joy event.

How­ever, the po­lice took a dis­like to the crowd of peo­ple that turned up and put a ban on this cel­e­bra­tion for fu­ture years!

The ho­tel flat roof made it easy to hang bunt­ing and other dec­o­ra­tions dur­ing ma­jor na­tional events for many years dur­ing my fam­ily’s own­er­ship.

In the sum­mer I used to sit up there do­ing my school home­work and tak­ing pho­to­graphs of events in the Mar­ket Place below. Ger­ald Mee Leek

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