Town centre event marks the First World War

This Is Wiltshire: The Norfolk Regiment Living History Group at Wharf Green on Saturday The Norfolk Regiment Living History Group at Wharf Green on Saturday

VINTAGE bands played and Union flags flew proudly in the sky at a Wharf Green street party on Saturday.

The Great War Street Party welcomed hundreds of visitors who enjoyed music and dance performances while sipping cups of tea.

The festivities were staged by campaign group Swindon In The Great War. They have organised a series of events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Historian Mike Pringle, a member of the group, said: “The party is going great.

“We’ve organised a lot of events which have a serious tone, so it is nice to be able to celebrate some of the jollier aspects of that period.

“We really wanted to use today as an opportunity to celebrate the lives of those who were around at that time and put together a programme of attractions that they’d have enjoyed.”

One minute’s silence was held to commemorate those who fought in the conflict.

Visitors to the event wore Union flag hats and were able to make their own poppies in The Brunel Shopping Centre, where there was a poppy making workshop running for people of all ages.

The completed poppies will be placed above a mural, of a poppy field, at the premises.

Katie English, who was running the session, said: “We have been really busy and it has been great to see such a wide demographic of people making contributions. It is a great way to commemorate the First World War.”

The poppies will be placed around war poems already on the memory wall.

Shoppers where also given free Poppy Peaceboms which allow them to plant their own seeds.

Last week, Swindon in the Great War launched a war exhibition at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, in Old Town, showing how the conflict affected the town.

The display is running until January 31.

Mike, who has released a book called Swindon Remembering 1914-1918, said: “It has been a very busy time for us all but we are being carried through by the great feedback that we are receiving.

“It is essential that we pay our respects to those who fought and were affected by the Great War.”

For more information about First World War commemorations in the town visit swindoninthegreatwar.wordpress.com.

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