By Katherine Robinson of the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group.
This year saw a record number of attendees to our annual Remembrance Sunday parade and ceremony in Bradley Stoke. The parade had more than 300 young people from nine other local youth groups who joined us (the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group –main organisers of the event). Groups parading this year were the Trident Explorer Scout Unit, 1st Bradley Stoke Rainbows, 1st Stokeway Rainbows, 2nd Bradley Stoke Brownies, 2nd Stoke Lodge Brownies, 1st Little Stoke Scouts, South West Winterguard Academy, St John Ambulance Cadets and 37th Squadron (Frampton Cotterell) ATC. The parade was also joined by our local mayor Cllr Andy Ward, South Gloucestershire councillor Roger Avenin, Jack Lopresti MP and the Reverend Paul Hinckley.
As the parade moved along the route (led by our Scout marching band playing songs from Vera Lynn), it was protected by our extensive team of volunteer parents/group leaders who became parade marshals or road junction pointsmen. We were also very fortunate to have our local police and the St John Ambulance teams in attendance. We would like to thank everyone who helped to keep us all safe again this year.
Our aim this year was for our young people to take centre stage in the leading and actual running of the ceremony. This is in keeping with the Scout Association’s “youth led” philosophy that encourages young people to grow and develop their independence and responsibilities. Consequently, the ceremony was solely conducted by our young people who addressed the audience using three themes: The Battle of Passchendaele (in the First World War) commemorating it’s 100th anniversary, Vera Lynn (the “forces sweetheart”) celebrating her 100th birthday this year and, finally, four of our young Scouts used their own moving words to recall their summer trip to the D-Day beaches of Normandy. They then went on to introduce Paul Hinckley to give a sermon, before leading the formal act of Remembrance.
Wreaths were laid at the memorial and the national anthem was played by the excellent Filton Concert Brass Band who had also been playing throughout the ceremony. The weather had been cold but dry up to the start of the two-minute silence, but then, rather poignantly, the rain began to fall. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise perfect morning as it quickly turned to a very heavy downpour!
We would like to thank everyone who made this event possible, but especially all our young parade members who demonstrated how proud and able they are to Remember in Bradley Stoke.
This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 10 & 11). 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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