As a child I was always interested in the annual Royal Festival of Remembrance which was broadcast from the Royal Albert hall. In those days the whole event was broadcast and it would last most of the evening. It would include various displays form the armed forces and military bands and end with a short act of remembrance. This whole event is now compressed into a 1 hour TV programme which I really don’t think does it adequate justice.
I have always felt a sense of appreciation for the sacrifice that people made by serving their country and making, in so many cases, the ultimate sacrifice.
Whilst on a business trip to London last week I had to walk from Westminster tube station to my meeting venue and this took me past Westminster Abbey. It is just a few days since the Armistice Day acts of remembrance which centers around the activity at the Cenitaph which is also at Westminster in London.
As I had a few minutes to spare I decided to walk through through the Field of Remembrance which is in the garden of Westminster Abbey. Here is a photo of the entrance to the location!
As I walked through I was very impressed by the large number of commemorative crosses that have been put there by people who would have known some of the individuals who died in some of the conflicts which have taken place. There were some memorials placed for people who died in the First World War. I really did find this quite a moving experience to see so many of these crosses which probably reflect only a fraction of the total amount of people who have died in conflict.
The photo below shows one part of the field and you can see that it is broken into sections that are set aside for individual regiments and other divisions of the armed forces.
In the following photo I wanted to show that there are real names on each of the wooden crosses which are placed there!
I find it difficult to explain my own feelings as I walked passed the thousands of crosses. A mixture of, a sense of reality concerning the numbers involved, a sense of gratitude that so many people died for the sake of other people future freedom; and that of course includes me and my own family. This was for me an emotional moment although I do not know any individual person who died in any of the wars.
I took some more photos which you can see – click here
Its 3rd November and Mary and I attended, what has now become an annual reunion event. We travelled to the Banff Springs Hotel which is, as you might expect, in Banff on the Moray Firth coast of Aberdeeshire, to have a meal with friends whom we have known for many years. We first became acquainted when we were all teenagers and living in Peterhead/Fraserburgh and the surrounding area. We all went to various churches in the two towns at that time and it was this common interest that first brought us all together. This was about 35 years ago so it is great that we can still get together and enjoy each others company.
Here are some members of the group on arrival at the hotel.
If we are honest there are a few more grey hairs than there were in previous years 😉
Click here to see some more photos taken as we sat around the dinner table enjoying a lovely meal and each others company.
Of course since we first met, there have been some changes, couples were formed, marriages took place and we have had families of our own. Different career paths necessitated that we moved around the country country a bit – but we have still manged to keep in touch with each other.
We were unable to attend last year so it was especially good be back this year again. This year another two of our party were unable to be there, but we look forward to next year when the group might be complete again.
Of course its great to be together and enjoy each others company and to reminisce about the past. But its also important to spare a thought for friends who are no longer with us. I am thinking particularly about our good friend David who sadly passed away over 4 years ago. I did mention him recently in a post about his sons wedding but felt moved to search through my old photos to find a few memories, click here to view what I found.
So roll on the first Saturday in November 2008 when we will do it all again – God willing!
We were in Peterhead on Saturday evening – and just about to leave and we saw lots of thick black smoke in the sky which seemed to be coming from the direction of the harbour. So we headed off to investigate. It seems that a fire had started where a pile of wooden pallets were stored. Very spectacular. Fortunately I had the camera in the car, see below!
Here is the close up which is best I could do from the nearest point of access.
Working from home has its advantages. This morning I was at my desk at the usual time ( about 6.30am ) and as the sun rose the scene from my study window came alive with colour. So I just had to capture the scene as best I can. The camera of course can never reproduce the impact of the original as seen with the naked eye. But stunning none the less.