Armistice 100: Remembrance Day route rethink as new organiser aims to improve event

Seaham's Remembrance Day service on Terrace Green last year.
Seaham's Remembrance Day service on Terrace Green last year.

A town’s Remembrance Day route will change this year as its organisers look to make it safter and avoid a £3,000 road closure bill.

Seaham event will start from the Lord Londonderry statue on North Terrace, with the parade to follow the straight of the closed off street before turning to take the road which borders the Terrace Green.

Seaham Remembrance Day Parade has previously started on Tempest Road before turning onto North Terrace.

Seaham Remembrance Day Parade has previously started on Tempest Road before turning onto North Terrace.

In previous years, marchers have gathered on Tempest Road, which has been closed off to traffic, and to the seafront cenotaph for the ceremony, which will begin at 10.45am.

Organisers have decided to make the change after the cost safety measures would cost £3,000 and discussions with the authorities led to a rethink on safety grounds.

Gary Richardson is chairman of the town’s branch of the Royal British Legion and has also helped oversee the development of the new Seaham Field of Remembrance poppy display, which was unveiled last Sunday.

He said: “We are trying to improve the day and this is my first year in charge of Seaham’s Royal British Legion branch and the march is an important part of what we do.

“I understand on social media some people have asked why we have changed the route, but it was going to cost us £3,000 to put up 13 barriers and to use Tempest Road, when it will take just two barriers.

“This will take the parade in a loop, it’s going to be longer and it’s also going to be more of a spectacle, because people are going to be able to watch the march come around.

We are trying to improve the day and this is my first year in charge of Seaham’s Royal British Legion branch and the march is an important part of what we do.

Gary Richardson

“Before, people would gather around the cenotaph and Tommy and the parade would struggle to get through.”

Mr Richardson has sent his thanks to Seaham Town Council, which is responsible for the Terrace Green, for its support in helping put together the new plans.

County Durham Deputy Lieutenant Derek Winter and Mayor of Seaham Councillor Barbara Allen will be among the dignitaries who will join the town’s cadet groups will join members of the Royal British Legion and Pittington Brass Band for the service.

A pebble poppy was also laid down at the foot of Tommy statue last Sunday by the Seaham Remember Them Fund.

It will remain in place until a week after Remembrance Day, when the organisers will then put out an announcement inviting people to visit and collect a poppy as a keepsake and reminder of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

The town's Royal British Legion branch says the changes will mean people will be able to see the event.

The town's Royal British Legion branch says the changes will mean people will be able to see the event.