DESPITE heavy showers throughout the morning, hundreds gathered along the Parade Route and at the War Memorial on for Colne Commemorates…1916 on Saturday. With talks, films, re-enactments, exhibitions, folk music, brass bands, Knurr and Spell, crafts and period catering, Colne was thronged with people all day.
The culmination of the event was the screening at the Muni of the iconic 1916 film, The Battle of the Somme in the evening.
Chairman of Colne Town Council, Cllr. Sarah Cockburn-Price said: “We are immensely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund whose extra funding allowed us to fund the information boards and our outreach programme to local primary schools. We are also deeply indebted to Eleanor Jolley, without whom mounting an event of such complexity would have been utterly impossible. At each venue there were groups of volunteers who all worked so hard for us: the costume department and set builders at The Hippodrome, Alan Hargreaves, Marilyn Crowther, Gordon Ingleby and the great team at the Little Theatre, Georgina Parker and Joe Winkley who entertained us in the evening before the film screening, the inestimable Geoff Crambie, Lesley and David Turner from Arteology who complemented the military hospital with an art exhibition, Helen Green and the team from her eponymous Dance School, the Knurr and Spell expert, Len Kershaw, Christine Bradley and the wonderful Friends of Colne Library, Colne Camera Club and Cllr. Carlo Lionti whose van loan was logistically vital.”
On Facebook, Colne Town Council and the event garnered many compliments. Trish Judson commented: “Fantastic day, enjoyed every minute of it, especially Geoff Crambie at the Little Theatre”, while Katharine Lee wrote: “Many thanks to everyone who put the effort in today to mark such a momentous occasion! It was superb day which was thoroughly enjoyed by myself, my daughter and grandson.” Janet Diggins summed up: “A great big well done to all the Town Council it was an amazing event. Really enjoyed the re-enactments and the actors were all superb.”
Eleanor Jolley said: “Huge thanks are due to the professionals and volunteers who blended seamlessly together with skill and enthusiasm to deliver an Event which a town much larger than ours would have been proud of. Having started this Colne Commemorates project with the patriotic fervour of 1914, we have now shown the more sober reality of the start of the Battle of the Somme, which affected so many men and families from East Lancashire. We shall complete the story in 2018 when we look at the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the War. This November, we hope to display the photographs, films, and information banners of the project so far at the Town Hall.”
On 16th July, Colne hosts its first free Summer World Music and Food Festival. The performers will be announced soon and Market Street will be closed all day. Ten days later, on the evening of Tuesday, 26th Colne Town Council is staging The Colne Grand Prix Cycle races, sponsored by cottages.com and Fort Vale. For first time ever, Colne’s main race has the honour of closing the race series.