Community honours the fallen

HUNDREDS of people took part in services and ceremonies across the Downend area to remember those who lost their lives in conflict.

Veterans, members of uniformed organisations and civic leaders marched through Staple Hill to the area’s biggest Remembrance Sunday commemoration in Page Park, where they were joined by relatives and residents.

The rain that had drenched the streets earlier in the morning let up for the parade and traditional Remembrance service, with the gathering of around 500 people falling silent for the Last Post and two minutes’ silence at 11am.

A less formal indoor service was held at the Red Lion in Mangotsfield, attended by around 60 people, with acts of remembrance also taking place in churches around the area.

Shortly after noon about  200 people gathered at the Alec Large Memorial Garden in Mangotsfield for a service around the war memorial, attended by current and ex-service personnel, cadets, scouting and guiding groups and residents.

Community Pastor Clive Heath, who led both Mangotsfield events, alongside the Rev James Cannan of St James Church at the afternoon service, thanked local audio visual firm Bluestone Audio for providing sound equipment for the event, along with all those people who attended the services.

The Staple Hill parade was made possible by donations from the public which paid the £700 cost of the PA and other expenses and also provided £140 towards next year’s event.

DOWNEND WI members created an eye-catching Remembrance display for the postbox outside Downend Post Office.

The crocheted khaki boots and wartime helmets were dotted with bright red poppies and a felt panel with the words “lest we forget”.

The postbox topper base, boots and helmets were created by four WI members, Suzzie Belcher (pictured), Vanessa Martin, Carol Davies and Kathy Paramore, using a pattern designed by an anonymous crafter who calls herself Syston Knitting Banxy. 

Other WI branch members joined in with making the poppies.

It is the second Remembrance topper the group has made – 2022’s felt poppies were made into a wreath for Christchurch Junior School.

CHILDREN at St Augustine of Canterbury RC Primary School created a variety of poppies which were combined into different designs for Remembrance Sunday.

Each class came up with a different design or method to make their poppies.

Head teacher Mark Hilliam said “Every child worked extremely hard on their individual poppies for their class display. The final product was both beautiful and moving.

“We displayed them around our cross and had a short service where all children observed a minute’s silence.

“The children were very respectful during the minute’s silence.”