The Final Homecoming

The Final Homecoming

The Final Homecoming is a Community Parade, to mark the Centenary of the end of the First World War. You’re invited to take part.

Takes place Monday 12th November 2018 from 11am, in Fleetwood.

The parade begins at Memorial Park, goes through the town centre, turns into Bold Street, up and around the Mount, and ends in Marine Gardens. Then enjoy food, music performances and reenactments, in and around The Final Homecoming marquee.

The final homecoming
The final homecoming parade – in 2014

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2018 marks the end of the Centenary of the First World War and events will be taking place across the country to commemorate it.

Throughout Wyre, community projects and events will take place from October up to Armistice Day itself. This year it’s also Remembrance Sunday, 11 November 2018.

Fleetwood Town Council, Wyre Council and partners are organising a mass participation community parade to mark the historic event. It’s going to be a celebratory event, following the reflection and national significance of Sunday 11 November.

Everyone is invited to take part in The Final Homecoming. Schools, residents, community groups, veterans and serving personnel, re-enactment groups and local musicians are very welcome. It’s hoped that 1000 people will join the colourful and creative parade. The message of the event is cohesion, hope and peace. 

Why don’t you share in this memorable day for the people of Wyre and Lancashire? Get in touch and join the parade!

If you are interested, please contact Debra Thornton at clerk@fleetwoodtowncouncil.org for an expression of interest form. If you do get in touch, please mention that you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast – thanks!

The Final Homecoming Commemorations

A number of events will take place leading up to the Final Homecoming parade.

At Fleetwood Market there will be ‘just reminiscing’ drop in sessions and you can join in art sessions with artist Linda Copeland. Watch live improvisations which will be taking place in the homefront room.

Thornton Little Theatre is hosting a Night of Nostalgia. Go on a journey of magical music hall memories and laughter, featuring unforgettable acts such as Lilli De Carlo the ultimate 1940’s swing singer and the George Formby Experience.

The Northern Festival of Remembrance will take place once again at Marine Hall. The Mayor of Wyre, Councillor Marge Anderton is hosting this special festival and all proceeds will be donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

A final homecoming exhibition marquee will be set up in Marine Hall gardens. Seean exhibition of replicas, artefacts and posters of life on the homefront, as well as contemporary posters and pieces of creative writing devised by local children, young people and adults. Also in the marquee there will be a variety concert of song, poetry and re-enactment, featuring mezzo soprano Patricia Hammond, musical arranger Matt Redman and local showcases.

At Marine Hall, enjoy ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, a new musical featuring the songs of the Great War. The show commemorates the resilience and bravery of the people involved, as well as the stories of the loyal loved ones they left behind. There also will be two commemorative tea dances taking place at Marine Hall.

A centenary beacon lighting takes place at the Mount Pavilion in Fleetwood on Armistice Day, Sunday 11 November. This is a national commemoration where a beacon will be lit on the Mount to connect with other beacons across Morecambe Bay. There are a number of Remembrance Sunday services taking place across the borough’s towns and villages.

The final homecoming parade closes the commemorations on Monday 12 November. Starting at 11am, the parade commences from Memorial Park Fleetwood and ends at the Marine Hall marquee. This is a mass participation community parade involving local schools, residents, community groups, veterans, musicians and re-enactment troupes. The 1000 strong parade will walk through the town, finishing in the Marine Gardens.

The Homecoming – 2014

Thousands of people supported a community parade in Fleetwood to commemorate the First World War Centenary and celebrate the restoration of Memorial Park.

The Homecoming on Armistice Day – 11 November 2014 –  saw around 1,000 school children, community members and a variety of characters from the home front parade from Marine Hall Gardens, through the town to Memorial Park, with many more lining the route.

The Homecoming Parade through Fleetwood

Parade enters the park
Parade enters Memorial Park

People were dressed in the uniform and clothing of the time and shops and homes were decorated with murals, bunting and flags reflective of the many homecomings that occurred during the war.

Showing off our wonderful park

Councillor Terry Rogers, Wyre’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “The turn out today was absolutely fantastic and I’m proud that Wyre has paid tribute in this way. The community really came together and it was a great way to show off our wonderful park.

“I was delighted to see so many children taking part because the younger generation are the future custodians of remembrance and the park, so it’s vital that they understand the true meaning.”

Children from every school in Fleetwood took part and community groups including Fleetwood WI, Fleetwood Sea Cadets Old Boys Band, Fleetwood Museum and HM Coastguard Fleetwood plus Lt Col Beatson, Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire and the Mayor of Wyre, Councillor Ron Shewan.

Shakespeare Primary at The Homecoming Parade

Clare O’Connor, Family Learning Mentor at Shakespeare School, co-ordinated the schools’ participation in the event (above). She said: “All the schools in Fleetwood took part today because The Homecoming was a real community event that we all wanted to be part of. The children have learned so much about the history of the First World War – we’ve had workshops in the run up to the event with a soldier and a nurse who taught them about their roles. Both the educational element and the experience have been fantastic one offs.”

Norfolk Regiment Infantry Re-enactment Team
Norfolk Regiment Infantry Reenactment Team

Memorial Park continued the theme after the parade by hosting the 16th Lancers Cavalry Display Troop, mezzo-soprano Patricia Hammond, music wagon, feed stations, first aid post and other authentic features.

The Homecoming is part of a programme of events to celebrate Memorial Park, which has undergone a complete restoration thanks to a £2.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Funds.

The Grade II listed park is unique in that the entire grounds were created in commemoration of the First World War, unlike most conventional architectural memorials, and it is one of only a few listed war memorial parks and gardens in the country.

16th lancers

The Cenotaph in Memorial Park at Fleetwood

World War 1 Centenary

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