Remembrance Day events in the Northeast, from virtual services to illuminated landmarks

It will be a Remembrance Day like no other next Sunday with large rallies, parades and canceled services across the region.

But as Remembrance Day falls on the first weekend of the new lockdown, there is no shortage of ideas on how to mark the occasion.

The North East rose to the challenge and found inspired and very special ways for communities to still pay homage to the war dead.

Ahead of the November 11 anniversary of the end of World War I, Remembrance Day on November 8 will see tributes rendered in a variety of ways, from eye-catching tributes to the illumination of the Newcastle Civic Center and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. in color – to online events such as a virtual field of remembrance in Gateshead and a live broadcast service to the Durham Cathedral service.



A woolen poppy rug in Old Eldon Square for a previous Remembrance Sunday. Pictured Amber Hall.

The Royal British Legion also encourages people across the UK to make sure the day is properly marked by watching online services and observing the traditional two-minute silence at home or on their doorstep.

Across the region, online events will include moving readings, sounds from The Last Post, and Big Ben chimes marking the two-minute silence at 11am. A national service will also be broadcast at 11 a.m. on television and radio.

Here is a guide to what will happen in and around Newcastle.



Newcastle

The city normally hosts a big event, with a military parade and a remembrance service in Old Eldon Square, but this year it will instead light up the Civic Center in red, white and blue for four days and broadcast a remembrance service – recorded in Newcastle on Friday – on social media on Sunday.

Poppies made by local residents to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I will be on display again and people are also encouraged to hold their own poppy exhibitions in their homes.

They are also invited to participate in a two-minute silence on the doorstep both on Remembrance Sunday and on Armistice Day itself: November 11.

Prudhoe City Council

Unable to organize its parade and remembrance service, the council, along with the local branch of the Royal British Legion and St Mary Magdalene Church, instead marks the day with a commemorative video.

This video will feature the Act of Remembrance, the laying of wreaths and a montage of photographs of parades and memorial services in Prudhoe over the years.



The war memorial at the St Mary Magdalene Church memorial in Prudhoe
The war memorial at the St Mary Magdalene Church memorial in Prudhoe

It will be posted on Sunday morning on a dedicated page on its website as well as on Facebook and YouTube.

Looking ahead to the day, local stores, schools and the wider community were encouraged to come up with their own commemorative ideas in words or pictures.

Wreaths are displayed on The Glade in the town where a poppy cascade has been created and locals can add their own tribute to the poppy. For more information and activity ideas on how kids can mark the day, see here.

Northumberland

Northumberland County Council will commemorate both Remembrance Day on November 8 and Armistice Day on November 11 with online services and it also encourages residents to honor Sunday’s two-minute silence at their door.

Its pre-recorded virtual services will be at 10:30 am and will be hosted on the council’s website Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.

North Tyneside

Residents who wish to pay tribute can watch a specially created video on Sunday

The pre-recorded memorial service will be posted at 11 a.m. on the North Tyneside Council social media channels.

North Tyneside Mayor-elect Norma Redfearn said she was sad that usual events were canceled due to the pandemic, but added: “The pre-recorded service will include images of cenotaphs and will include wreath laying, prayers and words from the branch of the Royal British Legion presidents.

“We hope residents will join the online service where possible and encourage everyone to pay their respects by observing the two-minute silence at 11am.” See the council’s Facebook page here.

Gateshead

Gateshead Millennium Bridge will be illuminated red on Remembrance Sunday evening and also on November 11 as a tribute to the war dead and also to provide “an opportunity for reflection and remembrance,” said the Gateshead Council.

A full memorial service is being recorded and will be shared on the council’s social media platforms and YouTube on November 8.

This virtual service will be led by Reverend Margaret Mackay, the priest in charge of Gateshead, and will include military officers, the Mayor and Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear.

Links to it will be posted around 10:40 a.m., timed to ensure those watching can participate in the two-minute silence at 11 a.m.

Although the Field of Remembrance will not be in Saltwell Park this year, the Royal British Legion has ensured that people can always remember loved ones by contributing to its virtual Field of Remembrance. See here.


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South Tyneside

Flags will fly at half mast above South Shields Town Hall – which will be illuminated in red – and wreaths will be laid at memorials privately, but the South Tyneside Council has also hosted tributes online – including virtual service and short films – so that respects can be returned home rather than the usual parades and annual services.

The tributes will be posted on the council’s social media at 11 a.m. on November 8 and 11.

The mayor, Councilor Norman Dick, himself a veteran, urged people to observe the two-minute silence “at their door, in their garden or at home” and residents can also join in this tribute of 11 hours on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. like leaving messages, memories and pictures of poppy windows on social networks.

Those who wish to lay a wreath at a memorial can do so at times other than 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The films – to be shown on the council’s website Facebook and Twitter social media pages. – will feature representatives of the community and the armed forces and wreaths will be placed at war memorials.



The Tommy War Memorial at Sunrise, Seaham, County Durham

Durham

Other landmarks will be illuminated around the city to mark Remembrance Day. These will be Durham Town Hall; Bishop Auckland Town Hall which still has a canopy of poppies knitted by the Women’s Institute; County Hall – where there will also be a large poppy, projected onto the front of the building – and the Butter Market at Barnard Castle; the cenotaph and poppy fence at The Green in Seaham and the war memorial at Chester-le-Street Market Place.

The Lumière artwork on the wall at Durham’s Clayport will be temporarily replaced with a war poem by Lawrence Binyon and an image of falling poppies will be displayed on screens outside Elvet Bridge and outside the Gala at Millennium Place.

Durham Cathedral’s Remembrance Day service is by invitation-only this year, but it can be watched at home as it will be broadcast live the same day.



The Durham Market Place war memorial is illuminated in red
The Durham Market Place war memorial is illuminated in red

Durham County Council will be hosting online events from November 8-11, and viewers will be able to see a pre-recorded video Honoring the Dead on the same day.

the mayor, the lord lieutenant, the president and the chief executive of the council pay homage to the inhabitants who fought and died in wars, including a verse of remembrance accompanied by the Last Post.

There will also be a recorded performance of the Durham Hymns, created to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, and a recording of war poems donated by the Durham Light Infantry and read by Gerald McNally. See here and for council plans see here.


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Sunderland

From Remembrance Sunday through Armistice Day, the Penshaw Monument – owned by the National Trust – and Sunderland City Council’s Northern Spire Bridge, as well as Fulwell Mill; the white Seaburn Lighthouse; Keel Square and High Street West, all will be illuminated in red.

The Beacon will follow suit from November 9 to 11.

The city has a digital program of online memorial events starting November 6 that replaces its usual memorial service and parade.

To encourage people to pay homage to the house, there will be a series of short films to watch from that day, which will include interviews with local veterans; the story of Sikh involvement in WWI and WWII and how a Washington couple, Mary and Terry Evans, found and visited the grave of a WWI ancestor in Belgium.

Then, on November 8, a pre-recorded Remembrance Day service will be broadcast online starting at 10:45 a.m.

It will feature all the traditional aspects of the annual event, including a reading by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs. Susan Winfield, of the poem In Flanders Fields, and a reading by Len Gibson, centenary and former prisoner of war on the railway of death, the prayer of prisoners of war from the Far East.

Viewers will hear The Last Post and Big Ben chimes before the two-minute silence.

There will also be an online premiere of Opera Sunderland’s The Soldier’s Return on November 8, which will then be available for free until November 30. See here.

To learn more about the Sunderland Remembrance 2020 online program, see here.

Mayor Councilor David Snowdon said: “Remembrance Sunday has always been an important occasion for the whole city to come together to honor all those who have fought in conflicts past and present.

“While we may not be together in person this year, I know that as a city we will come together and reflect on this important day and we will always remember those in our communities who made the ultimate sacrifice.”


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Perry A. Thomasson