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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Poignant Opportunity

About 3 years ago my neighbour Roy told me that he had a WW1 memorial plaque in his garage, that he and a colleague had saved from a skip when the offices of Travis Perkins in Littlehampton were demolished and the 'Look & Sea' Centre was built on the same site.

It commemorates the employees of T.P.'s forerunner Ede Butt & Sons of Littlehampton and Shoreham timber yards, who died in that conflict. This plain plaque was made by Eric Gill the artist, who among many other commissions designed the stations of the cross in Westminster Cathedral and many of the fonts you will find on your computer.

To cut a long story short, several approaches were made to various organisations to have it again on public display, without result. It was therefore placed in Littlehampton Museum's store for safe keeping.

Earlier this year the Centre approached me about placing the plaque within the building as part of the national WW1 commemorations. The Museum has subsequently agreed to place the plaque on permanent loan to the Centre.

On Friday the 14th November there will be a low key re-dedication of the plaque, with the Mayor, Vicar, local school children and the press in attendance and we have been asked to sing a few of our WW1 repertoire songs, particularly the ones that brought tears to a few people's eyes when we performed them at the Arundel Festival.

Unfortunately as it's a weekday this may limit singers participation but we will be performing indoors, so numbers are not as important, and the weather will not be a factor.

If those singers who might be interested in taking part could email me by the next Beechwood session at the latest (1st October), I can then confirm with the organisers that we will be there and pursue a possible mention on local T.V. news.

John C

Update 11th September:
I am now informed that the re-dedication ceremony will take place take place mid morning on the above date.
The final times have still to be arranged to tie in with whether we will be performing or not depending on singer support.

1 comment:

  1. This was an intimate and lovely event, the songs were really well received and people found them very moving, thanks partly to the sensitive order they were in, from songs expressing rousing hope and cameraderie to ones reflecting the realities of the loss of so many men. Thanks to David who introduced each one so eloquently, and who also raised the mood in the end with an inspired round of Jolly Good Song, much to the quiet relief of some of our audience I think who were transported from 1918 back to their cake and tea! We sang as one body without a conductor at the front, moving together through the more subtle nuances of the songs well, easily and sensitively.Many of the audience said how much they loved the singing, one lady who had spent her life in theatre said she had heard many choirs in her time and hadn't been so moved in ages! Wonderful singing all, a pleasure indeed to be singing with you. Emily