By Katherine Robinson of the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group.
The 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group were once again proud to organise this year’s Remembrance Day parade and ceremony. Attendance numbers were larger than ever following the group’s latest expansion and then an equally impressive number of other youth groups joining with us again. Young members from the Trident Explorers Unit, 1st Little Stoke Scout Group, 3rd Wallscourt Farm Scout Group, 1st Bradley Stoke Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, 1st Stokeway Rainbows, 2nd Stoke Lodge Brownies, the South West Winterguard Academy and Creation Twirlers Majorettes. We were also incredibly proud to introduce our new Marching Band (the creation of which became possible after winning a Vodafone Community Connection Award supported by the Journal). They proudly led the parade from the Jubilee Centre under the watchful eye of band master Richard Shepherd and expert band instructor George Bettesworth. Many of them had only just started to learn their instruments this year!
Given the scale of the parade, a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ safety preparation was undertaken by group volunteer Dave Calloway, who worked tirelessly with PC Jamie Shiels and his police team to ensure the safety of all our parade participants. Many of our executive support team and parents helped to marshal the route – many thanks to all of you.
South Gloucestershire and Bradley Stoke councils were represented by Cllr Roger Avenin and Mayor Elaine Hardwick. The ceremony was also supported by parade marshal Charles Brickley and the Rev Paul Hinckley. The fabulous Filton Concert Brass Band once again provided a beautiful selection of music and another perfect performance of The Last Post from trumpeter Joe Marsden. Our thanks also to Ben Walker who timed the two minute silence for us. For the first time this year, everything was streamed live on Bradley Stoke Radio to reach an even wider audience. Many thanks to the radio team.
The town square held a large audience of proud parents, members of the public and local veterans. The weather was beautiful as many of our young people came up on stage to tell the story of the Battle of Jutland that took place 100 years ago. Personal stories were also told including the moving account of young sailor Jack Cornwell, posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross at only 16 – read out by a Scout of the same age. Two of our Scouts also paid tribute to their great great great uncle who also died when his ship was sunk at Jutland.
We could not run our ceremony without the continued help and support from the Willow Brook Centre manager, Andy Wynn, and all his extremely helpful support staff, so we would like to say a huge thank you to them all. Thank you also to Boots for once again allowing us to access and use their windows to display our giant poppy behind the memorial.
Thank you to all our young people (and their leaders) who are a real credit to their groups and themselves. We are very proud to Remember.
This article originally appeared in the December 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 12 & 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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