Plans to involve the whole community in the unveiling of a new war memorial in a north Northumberland village are progressing with speed.
On Sunday, August 3 – on the eve of the centenary of Britain declaring war on Germany – residents of Shilbottle are to come together for a special ceremony.
As reported in the Gazette last month, residents in Shilbottle have long mentioned to their parish councillors about the lack of a war memorial in the village.
In 2000, the Shilbottle and Hampeth Action Group secured funding for a Memorial Garden to transform an eyesore area which housed an obsolete electricity sub-station.
Working with the parish council and local schoolchildren, an area to remember the miners of both Shilbottle and Whittle was created.
This year, the journey is set to be completed with a war memorial and the committee is keen to get young people and as many different groups as possible involved.
Work on the foundations of the memorial is set to start during the last week of this month. The monument, which is being constructed by Art of Stone in Blyth, will be made of granite and have three polished sides – one for the names of the village’s fallen from the First World War, one for the Second World War and one for other conflicts.
The day itself, at which the Duke of Northumberland will be guest of honour, will start with a service at 10am in the church before a march to the Memorial Garden behind a piper and band for the unveiling ceremony.
After that, it will be down to the Welfare Field for food – both a cold buffet and a hog roast – games, activities for children, tug of war and football. The afternoon will end with a match between the village’s side, which won five pieces of silverware this season, and a combined Forces side.
There will also be a raffle and committee members are extremely grateful for the 40 or so prizes which have been pledged from businesses, not just in Shilbottle, but also in Alnwick.