Remembrance service marooned

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TODAY could see the end of a tradition in Whitby which has been going on for years to remember those killed in the two world wars.

Every year at 11am on the 11 of November Whitby’s lifeboat crew, who are trained in pyrotechnics, fire a maroon from the grounds of St Mary’s Church to signify to the town the start of a two minutes silence.

And when it is finished they send up another one.

But it is getting increasingly hard for the crew to get hold of the maroons because the RNLI stopped purchasing them six years ago for cost and health and safety reasons.

Coxswain Mike Russell said it had taken six months to get hold of the maroons for this year and previously Dave Brining, a friend of the lifeboat crew, had provided them.

Mr Russell said: “We wouldn’t have had them for the last six years if it hadn’t been for him but this could be the last year we do it because we don’t know where we are going to get them from.

“We had such criticism for the one year we couldn’t find one. Some people said the lifeboat crew were stingy but that is not the point, we just couldn’t get them.

“We are quite willing to put them up and it would be a shame if it couldn’t continue, we have done it since the year dot.”

There will be a short service in the memorial gardens at Pannett Park today from around 10.45am prior to the maroons being fired.

On Saturday there is a service at the bandstand at 2.30pm before the Whitby lifeboat takes the wreaths out to sea and on Sunday as well as various services at churches around the district (see page 8) a service will be held at St Mary’s Church at 2.30pm led by the Archdeacon of Cleveland, the Venerable Paul Ferguson.