Grandparents and school children are among those helping to create a waterfall of 1,000 poppies to cascade over the altar of Aysgarth church during the parish community’s Festival of Remembrance from November 9 to November 12.
Rishi Sunak MP will officially open the exhibition and flower festival on the evening of Friday November 9.
That evening there will be an interactive display of WWI memorabilia thanks to the Green Howards Museum.
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Juliet Barker, the lay chair of Aysgarth Parochial Church Council, said: “The festival is very much an inclusive community event involving other local faith groups, parish councils, schools and individuals and we are grateful for the enthusiasm and commitment of all involved.
“We hope it will prove to be an appropriate memorial to all those whose lives were changed for ever by the Great War.”
The flower festival, masterminded by Barbara Hadlow, will illustrate the battles of World War One and its war poets and will be created by the church’s flower ladies and friends from the Wensleydale Flower Club.
An illustrated exhibition will tell the stories of local people who participated in the war effort and features a new Roll of Honour researched and drawn up by local historian Penny Ellis.
This so far includes 185 names -not just of the men of Aysgarth parish who fought and were killed, but also of those who returned plus the women who served as nurses.
Some of the new and fascinating research that she and Pip Pointon have undertaken this year will be on view at the exhibition for the first time.
A guide to the memorials in the churchyard where the parish’s Fallen of WWI are remembered is being prepared.
At 2pm on Saturday November 10 there will be a concert featuring WWI music and songs performed by the Hawes Silver Band, Aysgarth Singers and the children of West Burton’s community choir The Songbirds. These will be interspersed with readings from WWI poets and diarists, and local school children will read their own contributions to the commemorations.
On Remembrance Sunday short Acts of Remembrance will be held at each of the village war memorials in the parish: at Aysgarth, Carperby, Thoralby , Thornton Rust and West Burton. Many will then gather at the church gates at 10.30am and process into the church to the sound of muffled bells, led by the vicar and representatives of the North Yorkshire Lieutenancy and the Royal British Legion for the Service of Remembrance
Between 5pm and 6pm on Remembrance Sunday there will be an opportunity for private prayer and reflection in the church and at 7pm the un-muffled church bells will ring out in unison with the lighting of beacons throughout the country as part of the national act of commemoration to mark the formal ending of WWI.
The festival is open to the public from 10am to 5pm on the Saturday and Monday and from 1pm until 5pm on the Sunday. Admission is free and refreshments, including homemade cakes, will be available.
The organisers are very grateful to Richmondshire District Council’s Upper Dales Area Partnership and Aysgarth and District Parish Council for grants towards the cost of the Festival, and to RCP Parking Ltd for free parking at its Church Bank car park for all Festival visitors.