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Rishton Festival to honour First World War centenary

Children will march carrying silk flags and large poppies bearing soldiers' names

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Rishton Festival World War One artwork project

Children will proudly march carrying hand painted silk flags and giant poppies bearing the names of First World War soldiers as part of the Rishton Festival.

School and community groups across the town have been working with local artist Ursula Hurst over the last six months in preparation for the event which will commemorate the centenary anniversary of the war.

More than 1,000 people are expected to take part in the festival on Saturday, July 7, and will march from the library at 10.30am to Hyndburn Academy.

Funding for the event was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Tesco Bags of Help scheme and the festival committee enlisted Ursula to create the ‘WW1@BB1 Project’.

The artwork project in full bloom

Ursula, from Art Daze, worked with the Rishton community to help them learn more about the lives of those who lived through the Great War.

The former St Charles school teacher collaborated with 15 schools and community groups from the town to ‘capture and interpret the memories’ of the brave men and families from 100 years ago.

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She said: “Adults and children searched archives and photo albums, talked to relatives and friends, read books and the internet to find as much information as they could about the 198 soldiers who lost their lives between 1914 and 1918.

“WW1@BB1 will culminate at the Rishton Festival on with a procession through the streets of Rishton with the 12 flags and 198 giant poppies each depicting the names of the brave men that died.

“After the parade the flags and poppies will be exhibited at various locations until Remembrance Day when they will be carried through Rishton once more, to the cenotaph.”

Pupils get creative

The festival will take place on the field outside the Denise Parkinson Sports Centre at Hyndburn Academy and will include a real ale tent, children’s rides, a bouncy castle, food and more than 20 community stalls.

Entertainment will also be provided from a band and Irish dancers.

Coun Clare Cleary, who chairs the Rishton Festival Committee, said: “We are really looking forward to it.

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“It should be a good colourful spectacle and I think we are going to be lucky again with the weather.

“All of the festival is going to be concentrated on the field and there are lots of things going on.”