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PICTURES: Ashbourne's curtain-raiser for WWI commemorations

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: July 28, 2014

  • PICTURES: Ashbourne's curtain-raiser for WWI commemorations

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LIVE music, fun and games and a one-off Shrovetide match set a jovial mood for the start of a period of remembrance for the town of Ashbourne.

Families flocked to Ashbourne's park, the memorial gardens and the recreation ground off Cokayne Avenue, for Kitchener's Party in the Park, an event on Sunday organised by the lottery-funded committee organising events to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First world War.

Alongside the picnic in the memorial gardens, surrounding the bandstand where Ashbourne Town Band were playing during the event, a classic car show, period children's games and a WW1 sign-up re-enactment by volunteers from the Staffordshire Regiment Museum were among the entertainment.

Also taking place on the recreation ground, on Fishpond Meadow, was a special Shrovetide game for pupils from Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, organised by teachers from the school and members of Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Committee.

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A special ball had been commissioned for the game, painted by principal ball-painter Tim Baker, and D Day Veteran and former Shrovetide goal-scorer Sam Chell was invited to turn up the ball and start the game.

The event was a curtain-raiser for 10 days of talks, exhibitions, re-enactments and services to ensure the town plays its part in a national period of remembrance of the outbreak of World War One.

On Sunday Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin will be joined by Derbyshire County Councillor and East Midlands MEP Andrew Lewer on the Town Hall Balcony where, at 2.15pm, Mr Mcloughlin will read out the declaration of war as it was a century ago.

The Market Square below the balcony will be filled with a vibrant 1914-themed market and a procession will make way to St Oswald's Church after the declaration is read out for a service at around 3pm.

Throughout the week exhibitions, free talks and displays will be taking place and events will round-off on Monday, August 4 - the day of declaration - with a candelight vigil from 9.30pm where the names of Ashbourne's 111 fallen soldiers will be read out.

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