Penarth Town Centre came to a pause at this morning as a brief, but moving, outdoor service was held in Windsor Road to commemorate Armistice Day.
Many shops and retail premises in the town had posted notices at their entrances to remind customers that the customary two minute silence would be observed at 11:00am.
The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Ken Lloyd, accompanied by his consort Georgia Bennett and the Town Clerk of Penarth Emma Boylen formally represented Penarth Town Council at the brief ceremony.
They were supported by Cllr Mike Cuddy – leader of Penarth Town Council – and several council members, along with a large number of local residents and shoppers.
The pavement service was introduced by the Reverend Canon Peter Cox of All Saints Church and the famous Lawrence Binyon poem “For the Fallen” was read by Richard James chairman of Penarth British Legion.
Also present at the ceremony was the vicar of St Augustines Church the Reverend Mark Jones and other members of the clergy.
Overhead along Windsor Road the multi-coloured bunting [which has unaccountably remained in place across the street since June] had been augmented by large British Legion Flags bearing the symbolic poppy of Remembrance and the legend “Lest We Forget”.
Meanwhile overnight, the cast iron column supporting the town clock on the Windsor Road roundabout had been swathed in poppies .
Regrettably however the clock dial actually facing Windsor Road itself did not indicate the symbolic hour of 11:00 am.
That clock face remains blanked-off with signage which just bears the bilingual message “Welcome to Penarth / Croeso i Penarth” .
It appears that of the four dials on the clock – this is the one which is still awaiting repair.
The clock – originally presented by the now defunct Penarth Rotary Club – is maintained by Penarth Town Council.
There had been a brisk demand for hymn sheets – which were being distributed by the British Legion – the result of which was a lusty rendering, by the standing congregation, of the hymn “God Our Help in Ages Past”.
Tomorrow (Sunday November 12th) Penarth will witness the newly-revamped arrangements for Remembrance Sunday the schedule for which is as follows:-
10:50: All Saints Church Remembrance Day Service – which will be attended by most of the military, volunteer and community contingents due to participate in the afternoon procession. The service includes a Two Minute Silence at 11:00. After that service, those taking part in the afternoon procession are to be entertained to a sandwich lunch at All Saints Church Hall which is being provided by All Saints Church members.
13:30: The procession forms with a military band to march from All Saints Church in Victoria Square to the Garden of Remembrance at Rectory Road
13:45: The procession reaches the Garden of Remembrance where the standard bearers and official wreath-layers will enter the garden, the Last Post will be sounded and the second Two Minute Silence of the proceedings will be observed and wreaths laid. [ British Legion chairman Richard James says the only time that this is hugely relevant is when the “Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month” falls on Remembrance Sunday itself. It doesn’t this year – but it will in 2018 when the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War will be commemorated] .
14:00 : The procession forms behind the band and moves off from Rectory Road into Windsor Terrace and Windsor Road through Penarth Town Centre where it’s understood displays of poppies will have been installed by local retailers. The procession terminates at the Penarth Ex-Servicemen’s Club where the parade stands down.
One of the main reasons behind the revised schedule is that had proved difficult to arrange a military band for the morning of Remembrance Sunday. This year – however – a full uniformed military-style band called “The Veterans’ Band” – some of whose members also belong to the renowned Lewis Merthyr Band – will be leading the Penarth Parade.