Wokingham to pause remembrance parade for a year

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Wokingham Remembrance Sunday Parade November
Wokingham poppy sellers taking part in 2015's Civic Parade for Remembrance Sunday Picture: Phil Creighton

REGENERATION works in Wokingham town centre mean that this year’s civic remembrance events will be slightly different.

Instead of a parade from the Town Hall to All Saints Church, there will just be a service at 3pm on Remembrance Sunday.

And instead of a bugler sounding the Last Post at 11am on Armistice Day itself, Saturday, November 11, the sombre moment of reflection will take place in Howard Palmer Gardens.

Wokingham Town Council, who organise the event, said that the decision was taken reluctantly and had been made in consultation with local police.

In a statement, the Town Council said that the reasoning was due to the current diversions in place: by not holding the parade, it means that there will be no additional traffic restrictions to frustrate motorists.

“As the town traffic is currently being diverted and with reduced lanes, we feel that this is the most sensible approach to minimise any further disruption in the town centre,” the statement reads.

“There are often a few hundred people attending our annual Remembrance parade and it is essential that we follow precautions and keep everyone safe.

“We are mindful that some of our residents and organisations may be disappointed but we hope that everyone will understand and that people will still enjoy attending the Church Service. In 2018, we will look forward to seeing the parade once again march off from the newly refurbished Market Place.”

The service at All Saints will be led by the Revd Canon David Hodsgon, rector of All Saints, and will see town councillors be joined by uniformed organisations and the town mayor, Cllr Peter Lucey.

The town mayor said: “Wokingham believes strongly in remembering and honouring those who fought in the two World Wars, and also those British Servicemen and women who died or were injured since 1945 while protecting our freedom.

“I am honoured to be part of these annual Remembrance events.”

The service is also open to public.

Cllr Gwynneth Hewetson, Chair of the Civic Committee, said: “Maintaining traditions is one of the priorities for Wokingham Town Council and Remembrance Sunday is a particularly important event in our civic calendar.

“I very much hope residents will join us to mark this occasion.”

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