Burnham-On-Sea celebrates 200th anniversary
200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar on Friday October
21st with the unveiling of a new seafront plaque and a special
lunch for the leaders of groups across the town.
David Heathcoat-Amory is shown above at the unveiling of the plaque
at Marine Cove along with Cllr Neville Jones and Deputy Mayor
Cllr Dennis Davey. A crowd of around 150 residents gathered on
the seafront for the event.
and Highbridge's town band played in the gardens before the ceremony,
which was started by the firing of a single maroon from the top
of St Andrew's Church at mid-day. The Mayor's Chaplain, Rev'd
Graham Witts, pictured above, recited Nelson's famous prayer written
in the cabin on board HMS Victory during the battle.
lunch followed for approximately 60 invited representatives of
various organisations in the town at the Old Courthouse in Jaycroft
Road, shown below, which was specially decorated for the occasion.
several toasts relative to the occasion was the significant "Immortal
Memory", read by the Rt Hon David Heathcoat-Amory MP, an
ancestor of whom was a captain under Nelson at Trafalgar.
white ensign was presented to the Council by Cllr Jones, who is
Chairman of the HMS Burnham Association (see below). This was
then dedicated by the Rt Rev'd Bishop Peter Ball and will be draped
in the Council Chamber.
Rev'd Ted Ayerst recited Nelson's famous prayer before the Battle
later, the deputy Mayor read a number of messages received, including
one from the Chairman of Burnham Thorpe Parish Council. Burnham
Thorpe is the small Norfolk community where Nelson was born at
the local rectory.
case of sailors' knots typical of the Nelson era was presented
to the Council by Mr David Pusill, a member of the West Country
Knot Tyers' Association.
a commemorative cake featuring the image of the seafront plaque,
which had been given by past Mayoress Cllr Pat Burge, was ceremonially
cut with a sword.
was followed by Mrs Shirley Smith, wife of Burnham-On-Sea Town
Crier Fred Smith, singing 'Rule Britannia', pictured below, with
the audience joining in the chorus with gusto!
Kerry Rickards, Chief Executive of Sedgemoor District Council,
addressed the audience following an entertaining speech from Cllr
Jones explaining Burnham's link with Trafalagar and running over
the modern day comparisons between then and now. Previous Mayor
Cllr Hilary Rose also paid a tribute to absent friends.
of Burnham's celebrations were paid for from the public purse
as the HMS Burnham Association agreed to fund the plaque and present
a white ensign for the Council Chamber. Cllr Davey and Mayor Eric
Gill, who was unable to attend the event, provided the catering.
in the evening, shortly before 7.30pm, a beacon was lit on top
of Brent Knoll as part of a national chain of beacons. Despite
heavy rain and wind, the glow from the fire could be seen across
anniversary commemorated the UK's most celebrated naval victory,
which on 21st October 1805 scuppered Napoleons plans to
Knoll beacon to be lit on Trafalgar Day
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