Letter: Town out of step with the rest of the country

Some of my earliest memories are of being at the Cenotaph in Kendal Market Place with my family, many of who had been in the Armed Forces in both the World Wars and in later conflicts.

My maternal grandfather, Serjeant James Henry Wilson, of The Border Regiment, has his name inscribed on the Cenotaph. My mother was involved with the British Legion and took me round with her selling poppies door to door every year.

Later, first with the Cubs and then the Scouts, I attended the Remembrance Day service ceremonies at the Cenotaph. Then work and my own growing family caused me to drift away from attending.

In recent years, with a son who is a serving soldier, I have tried to attend the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday only to find that, although wreaths are laid there at 10am and people gather informally at 11am for the two-minutes’ silence, the main service no longer takes place there.

Someone in an organisat-ion some years ago decided the Kendal Parish Church should be the place to hold it.

I am not really interested in going to church and I know there are many more who feel as I do. If it is not taking place at the traditional location in the Market Place in Kendal, I would much rather watch the Whitehall ceremony on TV.

Last week’s newspapers and regional television news programmes carried pictures of ceremonies taking place all round the country at cenotaphs/war memorials, in the traditional manner, in the open air. It would seem Kendal is seriously out of step with the rest of the country.

I would urge whoever is responsible for the organisation of Remem-brance Sunday events in Kendal to restore the traditional Market Place service and then all those who want to, can march to the parish church afterwards. After all, if it is good enough for the Royal Family it should be good enough for the people of Kendal.

Trevor Cotton, Oxenholme

Comments (5)

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10:59pm Thu 22 Nov 12

KendalSmithy says...

I'm not sure what the problem is for Mr Cotton. Surely the most important thing is that the dead of two world wars and those of subsequent conflicts are remembered. Where this takes place is immaterial. Many of those attending are now frail and find standing for a service difficult, if not impossible, so surely sitting indoors is preferable for such, many of whom would otherwise not be able to attend at all.
If Mr Cotton finds churches creepy it's something he needs to deal with on a personal level, rather than asking everybody else to pander to his irrational foibles.
I'm not sure what the problem is for Mr Cotton. Surely the most important thing is that the dead of two world wars and those of subsequent conflicts are remembered. Where this takes place is immaterial. Many of those attending are now frail and find standing for a service difficult, if not impossible, so surely sitting indoors is preferable for such, many of whom would otherwise not be able to attend at all. If Mr Cotton finds churches creepy it's something he needs to deal with on a personal level, rather than asking everybody else to pander to his irrational foibles. KendalSmithy

5:52pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Nick Owen says...

Mr Cotton has made no mention of churches being 'creepy', he has simply asked that the service be carried out in the same way as it is in the majority of the rest if the country. It is not essentially a religious service.. if people wish to associate their religious beliefs with it, then fine, but it is a little presumptuous to assume that we're all happy inside a C of E church..

Yes, let's remember ALL who have died in conflicts all over the world, but let's not presume religious belief..
Mr Cotton has made no mention of churches being 'creepy', he has simply asked that the service be carried out in the same way as it is in the majority of the rest if the country. It is not essentially a religious service.. if people wish to associate their religious beliefs with it, then fine, but it is a little presumptuous to assume that we're all happy inside a C of E church.. Yes, let's remember ALL who have died in conflicts all over the world, but let's not presume religious belief.. Nick Owen

11:55pm Fri 23 Nov 12

KendalSmithy says...

I haven't presumed anyone's religious beliefs. The service, in whatever form it takes, may as well be anywhere - hopefully somewhere warm, dry and with seating, so as far as I'm concerned it could just as well be in the Town Hall. If someone has no religious beliefs why should they not be 'happy' in a church, when to them it's just stone walls and a roof? After all, many church services are held in school halls, sports halls, cinemas and the like nowadays.

I still fail to see why Mr Cotton is uneasy, or does he, perhaps, see the Market Place Cenotaph as sacred in some way? And why is it necessary to conform 'religiously' to the pattern followed by the rest of the country? Are we not allowed to do things our own way in Kendal?
I haven't presumed anyone's religious beliefs. The service, in whatever form it takes, may as well be anywhere - hopefully somewhere warm, dry and with seating, so as far as I'm concerned it could just as well be in the Town Hall. If someone has no religious beliefs why should they not be 'happy' in a church, when to them it's just stone walls and a roof? After all, many church services are held in school halls, sports halls, cinemas and the like nowadays. I still fail to see why Mr Cotton is uneasy, or does he, perhaps, see the Market Place Cenotaph as sacred in some way? And why is it necessary to conform 'religiously' to the pattern followed by the rest of the country? Are we not allowed to do things our own way in Kendal? KendalSmithy

6:37pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Kendmoor says...

Given the general tone of the letter I got the impression that it was about continuing what he feels has been traditional in his life, or reliving childhood memories..I see nothing wrong in that.
Given the general tone of the letter I got the impression that it was about continuing what he feels has been traditional in his life, or reliving childhood memories..I see nothing wrong in that. Kendmoor

11:07am Thu 29 Nov 12

JimTraficantforPresident says...

"I'm not sure what the problem is for Mr Cotton"

KendalSmithy, you seem to be the one with the problem.
Trevor Cotton is pointing out that the Remembrance Sunday ceremony traditionally took place at the Cenotaph in Kendal, as it similarly does all over the country, including Whitehall. The Market Place Cenotaph is a memorial to the Kendal and district war dead and as such was and is the logical place for any memorial service.
"I'm not sure what the problem is for Mr Cotton" KendalSmithy, you seem to be the one with the problem. Trevor Cotton is pointing out that the Remembrance Sunday ceremony traditionally took place at the Cenotaph in Kendal, as it similarly does all over the country, including Whitehall. The Market Place Cenotaph is a memorial to the Kendal and district war dead and as such was and is the logical place for any memorial service. JimTraficantforPresident

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