The morning was damp with the threat of rain in the air. As everyone stood quietly in reflection during the two minutes silence at 11:00 there were drops of rain, but they seemed to clear soon after Reveille was blown on the bugle and the Colour Party raised their standards. Then came a watery, autumnal sun that highlighted the golden leaves on the trees. Even the weather was paying its respects.
The Remembrance service was led by Rev. Jerry Sutton from St Margaret’s church. Rev. Sutton was a military Padre in days gone by, and wore his dress uniform to conduct the ceremony. We have heard ex-servicemen refer to him as the ‘Para Padre’.
The service was very well attended and we believe it to be the largest gathering for many years, estimated at 750 people. It crossed the spectrum of age with elderly and younger servicemen in attendance, proudly wearing their medals, as well as many families with young children. There is certainly more interest generated this year as it is the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War in 1918.
The musical accompaniment was provided by the Dave Edgerton band, conducted by Tim Ashcroft, adding to a poignant atmosphere. There were representatives from various faiths present, coming together on the day to pay their respects and delivering readings from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian traditions. Local dignitaries, council representatives, political groups, public services and many others laid wreaths on the cenotaph.
After the ceremony was over there were many friends greeting each other and saying hello to those they hadn’t seen for some time. Many people took the opportunity to look at the display of newly laid wreaths. The parishioners of St Margaret’s church kindly provided tea and coffee in the church hall. It was hearting warming to see so many residents of Altrincham paying their respects.
Our photographer was there taking lots of photographs of the ceremony, the laying of wreaths and of those present. These are available to download free at www.haahandbook.co.uk