Last post for town festival

ONE of Felixstowe's longest running events - an annual tribute to the thousands of Suffolk men who gave their lives for their country - is to be axed.

ONE of Felixstowe's longest running events - an annual tribute to the thousands of Suffolk men who gave their lives for their country - is to be axed.

It has been decided to disband the organising committee for the Festival of Remembrance because of declining numbers of people attending the event, which will not be held this year.

Years ago the Spa Pavilion was packed with more than 900 people each November to see the colourful celebration, allowing veterans to continue marking the sacrifice their comrades made for everyone alive today.

Vice chairman and treasurer Dennis Versey said: “It used to be packed and we had so many people clamouring for tickets we could have put on two performances.

“In recent years though the numbers have been declining and we feel this trend will continue in the years ahead.

“The number of veterans from the second world war alive today is going down and many are very elderly and do not want to go out to an evening event in November.

Most Read

“We thought it would be a good point to call a halt and go out with flags flying rather than let it all fizzle out, which it would do eventually.

“It is a great shame and everyone is very sad, and it was a very hard decision for us to make.”

The Royal British Legion ran the festival for many years up to 1960 and then it was not held for four years until a new committee was formed drawn from representatives of forces organisations in the town.

For the past 45 years it has been held on the Saturday night before Remembrance Sunday. It was threatened with closure nine years ago but saved after a new committee was formed following an appeal in The Evening Star.

A winding up meeting will be held in the next few months.

Mr Versey said military cadet forces in the town may consider the possibility of an alternative celebration with a different format.

Tell us your memories of the Festival of Remembrance. Is it time to call a halt to the event? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter