A crowd of around 200 people gathered in the Market Square on Monday 11th November, to watch, reflect and remember British service men and women who died in conflicts since the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
The Civic party, lead by Cllr John Beckett, Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, arrived in a procession at 10.50am, resplendent in their ceremonial robes. They were joined by serving members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and Police, among them our Borough Commander and Neighbourhood Specialist Officers.
Army Cadets, Scout leaders, school children and even toddlers from nursery were among those invited to join Revd Russell Dewhurst, Vicar of St. Mary’s Ewell, for the special Service.
At 10.59am The Last Post played before Epsom fell silent on the stroke of eleven. Flags were lowered, busses came to a halt, conversations ceased; business all around was put on hold as people paused to remember. Medals glinted in the wintry sun and together with poppies and wreaths, told a thousand stories.
At 11.02am Reveille signalled the continuation of the Service. The Mayor laid a wreath at the foot of the Clock Tower on behalf of the citizens of the Borough. Readings were from Dennis Newland, Burma Star Association, The Mayor Cllr John Beckett, Captain Robinson, QM 135 Squadron RE and Mary Dixon, Royal British Legion.
Prayers and the National Anthem concluded the Service.
Thousands of people countrywide were aware that Thursday 31st October was a very special day. It was Halloween and time for children to dress up as witches, ghosts, bats and skeletons and wear scary face paint in ghoulish greens and deathly whites.
It was also a special day for us at the Talking Newspaper too, because our volunteer team were on hand in the Ashley Centre to spread the word about our free audio news service and ideally to welcome new listeners.
Volunteers Heather Griffin and Richard Wheeler set up our EETN pod in the morning and were joined by more volunteers throughout the day, who met and chatted with passers-by, shoppers and several friends of EETN. Some people wanted to learn more about the way our recordings are distributed, with a view to registering someone to receive the free weekly audio service, while others were keen to know more about joining our team. As it was half term week, there were lots of children around and we really enjoyed seeing them looking very pleased with themselves in their Halloween outfits.
Our main aim was to raise awareness this year and we were delighted to make some new contacts. However, many people gave generous donations, including two lovely little boys who were having fun as they raced by, but stopped to pop coins on our desk.
Our Chairman Judy Sarssam would like to thank everybody who took time to chat to us and for supporting Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper.