Lights out in Basildon to commemorate WW1

WW1 service at St Martin's Square earlier today

WW1 service at St Martin's Square earlier today

First published in News

Leaving St Martin’s bell tower illuminated in a single shaft of light, Basildon Council is turning off all non-essential lighting in the Basildon Centre, St Martin’s Church and Towngate Theatre for one hour from 10pm tonight.

A special vigil will be conducted by Reverend Esther McCafferty marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The inspiration for Lights Out comes from a famous remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by the then foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”.

Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm on August 4, 1914 ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history.

Comments (3)

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5:51pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Friendly Fire says...

Then a couple hours later, all the rest go out.
Then a couple hours later, all the rest go out. Friendly Fire
  • Score: 0

10:27pm Mon 4 Aug 14

pierfan_43 says...

Well done Basildon for making a gesture to remember, such a shame that Southend didn't follow - street lights, pier lights, casino lights, university lights, and Adventure Island lights all still demonstrating the commercial power and freedom that we would have much less of if our predecessors hadn't gone to war.
Well done Basildon for making a gesture to remember, such a shame that Southend didn't follow - street lights, pier lights, casino lights, university lights, and Adventure Island lights all still demonstrating the commercial power and freedom that we would have much less of if our predecessors hadn't gone to war. pierfan_43
  • Score: 4

8:22am Tue 5 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

Interesting to see that only four of our local politicians attended. Kevin Blake (Con), deputy council leader, Mike Le Surf (Lab), Gavin Callaghan (Lab) and Kerry Smith (UKIP).

Earlier in the day a similar commemoration had been held at St Martin's and the only politicians present there were the mayor and Cllr Smith.

The only ones who remained to the end (the most poignant part of the commemoration, were Messrs Blake and Smith.

This event went on for an hour and the Labour lot, after taking pictures of each other, disappeared after only around 20 minutes.

The whole idea of this hour-long dedication was that people quietly reflected on the huge and cataclysmic sacrifice which began 100 years ago, candles were lit just before 10pm and were snuffed out in the minutes approaching 11pm, when a muffled bell was sounded.

This was a solemn, quiet and reflective moment observed in silence by the assembled group which included mainly members of the public and British Legion members.

The Rev Esther McCafferty also subsequently opened the church so that everyone could visit the excellent exhibition and remembrance book provided by Basildon Heritage.

Only the UKIP and Conservative politicians attended this in quiet reflection. No other politicians were present.. having left by then.

Not everything is an opportunity for self promotion and "being seen". And certainly not to be posted on social networking sites. Such events are for paying respects for those who sacrificed everything.

Such events are not for the promotion of personal politics and agendas. Everyone who attends, be they politician or member of the public, should be there purely for their own personal reasons - mainly paying respect to those who sacrificed so much so that we could even have "democracy" in the first place.

God only knows what they would think if they could see the state of this country now.
Interesting to see that only four of our local politicians attended. Kevin Blake (Con), deputy council leader, Mike Le Surf (Lab), Gavin Callaghan (Lab) and Kerry Smith (UKIP). Earlier in the day a similar commemoration had been held at St Martin's and the only politicians present there were the mayor and Cllr Smith. The only ones who remained to the end (the most poignant part of the commemoration, were Messrs Blake and Smith. This event went on for an hour and the Labour lot, after taking pictures of each other, disappeared after only around 20 minutes. The whole idea of this hour-long dedication was that people quietly reflected on the huge and cataclysmic sacrifice which began 100 years ago, candles were lit just before 10pm and were snuffed out in the minutes approaching 11pm, when a muffled bell was sounded. This was a solemn, quiet and reflective moment observed in silence by the assembled group which included mainly members of the public and British Legion members. The Rev Esther McCafferty also subsequently opened the church so that everyone could visit the excellent exhibition and remembrance book provided by Basildon Heritage. Only the UKIP and Conservative politicians attended this in quiet reflection. No other politicians were present.. having left by then. Not everything is an opportunity for self promotion and "being seen". And certainly not to be posted on social networking sites. Such events are for paying respects for those who sacrificed everything. Such events are not for the promotion of personal politics and agendas. Everyone who attends, be they politician or member of the public, should be there purely for their own personal reasons - mainly paying respect to those who sacrificed so much so that we could even have "democracy" in the first place. God only knows what they would think if they could see the state of this country now. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 4

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