Countdown is on for Colne’s commemoration of First World War

PICTURE PERFECT: Summer and Lilly Machin, who have been chosen as mascots for the Colne Commemorates events (S)
PICTURE PERFECT: Summer and Lilly Machin, who have been chosen as mascots for the Colne Commemorates events (S)

The countdown is officially on for Colne’s First World War commemoration.

Excitement is now building for the Colne Commemorates event, which will be taking over the town centre on Saturday, August 2nd.

A map and timetable for the day is available to view at Colne Library, and will shortly be distributed to shops. And authentic 1914 posters scattered around the town have also been creating a stir ahead of the huge event.

Coun. Dorothy Lord said: “The 320 1914 posters which are now in most shops and pubs in central Colne are giving the town a really authentic vibe.

“In fact, we have heard from both the police and our MP that some people have been alarmed by them and have reported a possible civil emergency in Colne. “Thankfully, they were able to be reassured that the posters are merely part of our Colne Commemorates event.”

Sisters and Lord Street Primary School pupils Lilly (6) and Summer (4) Machin have been appointed as mascots for a 1914 Photographer’s Studio, in the Glass Box.

The duo, of North Street, will be dressed in reproduction uniforms and will helping to recreate the moment soldiers had their pictures taken with their family and a town mascot when leaving for war. Colners and visitors are being invited to pose for commemorative pictures with their family members, and prints will be available for a nominal fee. A recruitment hall is also set to be recreated at The Gables, with hourly recruitment events taking place from noon.

Colne Commemorates co-ordinator Eleanor Jolley said: “The Gables is the perfect venue and we thank the Bethel Methodists for loaning it to us.

“We’ll be seeking “new recruits” who will then be put through their paces by Tommies from Lancashire Museums Service. In keeping with the real recruitment events of the time, there will be dancing and the singing of patriotic songs designed to encourage men to sign up.

“I’d like to thank our performers David Hargreaves, Georgina Parker, Jack Bowtell, Edward Cockburn-Price, Angela Schofield, The Grist Group and The Ardenettes – prepare to be both entertained and moved.”

As well as all the drama in The Gables, amateur dramatics groups will flood the town with century old memories at indoor and outdoor venues all over Colne. The day formally begins with a veterans’ and cadets’ parade, which will form up at The British Legion at 9-45am, and march with the Accrington Pipe Band to Colne’s War Memorial where a short service will be held at 11am.

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