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Two beacons to be lit on Sheppey on Remembrance Sunday

By John Nurden

Sheppey won’t be left in the dark when it comes to the ‘light of hope’ beacon tribute.

The Island will have two braziers lit on Sunday evening as part of the Battle’s Over commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The 8th Sheppey Scouts will be lighting a beacon on Sheerness seafront in front of the Sheppey Sailing Club in Marine Parade at 7pm.

Beacon move: 8th Sheppey Scouts' beacon will be lit in front of Sheppey Sailing Club this year and not on Neptune Jetty (5292955)
Beacon move: 8th Sheppey Scouts' beacon will be lit in front of Sheppey Sailing Club this year and not on Neptune Jetty (5292955)

And at the same time the Queenborough Beacon will be lit on Crundall's Wharf.

Scout leader Robert Fountain said: “We usually light our beacon on the end of Neptune Jetty so the flames can be seen along the coast. But this weekend Swale council is repairing the jetty so we have had to move it to the front of Sheppey Sailing Club. We are still hoping to attract a little crowd.”

The beacon, made from an old beer keg, was first used to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2012 and then the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016.

Bugler James Crane from the Air Cadets will play the Last Post just before the beacon is lit at 7pm and then 40 rockets will be fired into the sky.

Last-minute: Queenborough's beacon will be lit on Sunday evening. Picture: Kevin Weller (5292959)
Last-minute: Queenborough's beacon will be lit on Sunday evening. Picture: Kevin Weller (5292959)

There was also a last-minute doubt about Queenborough's beacon.

Cllr Cameron Beart said: "Following last-minute discussions I have managed to secure permission from the landowner to take part in this momentous occasion so Queenborough will now shine bright along with 1,200 other beacons across the UK."

A working party comprising Swale councillors Beart and Peter Marchington, Queenborough Town Council and the Queenborough Harbour Trust met last night (Wednesday) to thrash out the final details.

The beacon will be lit at 7pm on Crundalls Wharf after a short service to remember the Fallen from the town.

Admittance to the wharf will be prohibited but the lighting ceremony can be watched from the sea wall or Elephant Park.

Cllr Beart said: "My thanks to Dr Gary Reid and Michelle Muxworthy from Aesica Pharmaceuticals for agreeing to let us hold the event on their land."

Remembrance service at the Sheerness cenotaph. File photo. (5296222)
Remembrance service at the Sheerness cenotaph. File photo. (5296222)

Your Remembrance services on Sheppey

Friday

10.15am to 12.30pm – Oasis Academy (Sheerness).

Peace and reconciliation event at the Sheerness campus in Marine Parade to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Pupils will perform music, dance and poetry readings for Swale mayor Cllr Samuel Koffie-Williams and guests followed by refreshments at the academy’s award-winning dementia cafe and recreation of the 1914 Christmas Eve football match between Germans and The Allies in No Man’s land.

1.30pm to 2pm – Oasis Academy (Minster).

Tree planting at the Minster campus in Minster Road as part of its Peacefield Project sponsored by the Island’s Rotary Club. With Swale mayor Cllr Samuel Koffie-Williams. For details of both events, call Paul Murray on 07970 753404 or email paul.murray@oasisisleofsheppey.org

Saturday

10.30am for 11am – Sacrificial Cross war memorial, Sheerness Cemetery, Halfway.

Remembrance service, wreath-laying and planting of crosses on the War Graves by Swale mayor Cllr Samuel Koffie-Williams. Held on Saturday so it won’t clash with main service in Sheerness on Sunday.

7.30pm to 10pm - Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne.

Lest We Forget commemorative Armistice centenary concert with the combined choirs of Swale, boasting 250 singers, hosted by the Sittingbourne Orpheus Choral Society and Kent Sinfonia. Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Kent Paul Auston will be present with mayors from Swale, Faversham and Queenborough. Details from Brian Jemmett, chairman of Sittingbourne Orpheus Choral Society, on 07859 998516.

Big crowds are expected at the Sheerness cenotaph on Sunday (5296218)
Big crowds are expected at the Sheerness cenotaph on Sunday (5296218)

Remembrance Sunday

11am – Sheerness Cenotaph in Bridge Road opposite the train station with the Rev Colin Johnson and Swale deputy mayor Cllr Ken Ingleton, followed by a procession through the town centre to Holy Trinity Church in the Broadway.

11am - Minster Abbey with the Rev Cindy Kent

11am – Holy Trinity Church, Queenborough, with the Rev Paul Rush and Cllr Cameron Beart.

11am – All Saints Church, Eastchurch, with Father Gerry Arbor and Cllr Lynd Taylor.

2pm – St Clement’s church lychgate, Leysdown with the Rev Joe Gregory and Cllr Mini Nissanga.

3pm – St Thomas’ Church, Harty, war grave with the Rev Colin Johnson and Swale’s deputy mayor Cllr Ken Ingleton.

Wreathes outside Eastchurch church (5296230)
Wreathes outside Eastchurch church (5296230)

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