Remembrance in Sunderland 2022: Hundreds of Hays Travel staff mark Armistice Day silence in Keel Square

Hundreds of Hays Travel staff marked the Armistice Day silence in Keel Square.

Workers gathered outside the firm’s Gilbridge House ahead of the start of the national act of remembrance at 11am today, Friday, November 11..

Hays Learning and Development Coach Fiona Taylor played the Last Popst to mark the start of the silence and Reveillie to signal the end.

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Fiona, from Middle Herrington, is a flugel player with the NASUWT Riverside band, 2022 North of England Regional Champions.

The band represented the North East at the Royal Albert Hall in October this year, competed at the British Open Championships at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and are due to compete at Sage Gateshead as part of Brass in Concert in a few weeks’ time.

Fiona said she had been delighted to be asked to take part: “I am always of the mentality that it is a pleasure to play and if you can, you should,” she said.

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She was joined by proud husband Andrew, himself a veteran who saw service in Iraq and Afghanistan: “She is always amazing,” he said.

"I don’t normally get to see her play because I am usually at work but I said today I was going to make the effort to come down and see her.”

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Fiona Taylor plays the Last Post outside Hays Travel's Gilbridge House office

Hays people director Becky Robson said “At Hays Travel we pride ourselves in supporting our colleagues to take time to acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country.

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"We are delighted that we were able to mark this Remembrance Day with our very own Learning and Development Coach, Fiona Taylor, who is an exceptional flugel musician.”

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Staff member Steve Wright said he had been pleased to see passers-by join in the silence and is hoping the company can hold its Remembrance events outside very year.

Hays staff members observe the silence
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"It was so nice to see that it was not just our staff - members of the public were here and joined in too,” he said.

"I thought it was wonderful. We have always observed the two minutes’s inside before – this is the first time we have done it out here.

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"This will be an annual event from now on.”

Sunderland’s main Remembrance commemorations will take place on Sunday, with a parade down Burdon Road to the war memorial at 10.35pm, before a service takes place.

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Fiona with members of her team
Fiona Taylor with husband Andrew