Dawlish Town Council has taken the difficult decision to cancel the normal Remembrance events of a parade, public act of Remembrance and service in St Gregory’s Church on Sunday 8th November. The normal activities attract large groups of people and it will not be possible with social distancing requirements for this to take place this year.
This will be a disappointment to many, but public safety is the Council’s priority, and four separate activities are planned to take place – one of which is entirely new so that the community can still pay tribute and remember.
• Dawlish Poppy Wall – 1st to 14th November 2020
From the 1st November to the 14th November anyone is encouraged to add a knitted poppy to the outer side of the green railings at the far end of the Bowling Green behind the bandstand. This will form a Dawlish poppy wall of Remembrance. Dawlish Bowling Club have kindly granted permission for their railings to be used. The railings are 43 metres long and allow for full social distancing. Notices will be adjacent to the railings with message about social distancing and hand washing etc. A portable hand sanitiser unit will be securely located at one end of the railings and will be monitored and refilled by Dawlish Town Council staff.
The Mayor of Dawlish Councillor Alison Foden has issued a “Mayoral Knitting Challenge” calling on all knitters to knit a poppy or two for the wall. Knitting patterns can be collected from the Manor House reception Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1.30pm or can be found online. Some shops in the town will also be selling knitted poppies for the Royal British Legion Dawlish Branch.
• 11am silence on the bandstand on the 11th November 2020
At 11am in line with normal tradition a starting pistol will be fired by a member of the Royal British Legion from the bandstand to signal the 2 minutes silence. At the end it will be fired again.
• Invitation only service at the Memorial Garden on Sunday 8th November 2020.
Normally community and other groups lay wreaths at the Memorial Garden as part of an organised parade followed by a service in St Gregory’s Church. This normally involves upwards of 100 people and this unfortunately cannot be accommodated with social distancing requirements.
This year instead there will be a short service which will only include a limited number of representatives from the clergy, Royal British Legion and Dawlish Town Council. For those who have purchased wreaths the Town Council invites organisations to lay them between 8.30am and 10am on Sunday 8th November with social distancing and then to return home to watch the national commemorations at 11am. Between those hours a member of Council staff will take names of the wreath-layers so a list can be compiled which will be read out during the service. If anyone is unable to lay between those times, they are welcome to lay at other times, but we would ask not until after 1pm on the Sunday. The short service from the memorial gardens in Dawlish will be broadcast on Facebook later in the day with copies of the service available on the Town Council website.
• There will also be a separate recording of messages from Churches Together in Dawlish and District from the Poppy Wall broadcast on Sunday 8th November.
We appreciate that this is a difficult time and thank everyone for their support. We hope that people understand why these measures have been put in place and hope that many people will contribute to the Dawlish Poppy Wall.