Members’ joy after being told village’s remembrance parade will return

A previous remembrance parade. Picture: Lindfield RBL
A previous remembrance parade. Picture: Lindfield RBL

Members from Lindfield Royal British Legion (RBL) have spoken of their joy after finding out the village’s remembrance parade will return next year.

Mr and Mrs Harding were given the news last night after MP Sir Nicholas Soames requested an urgent meeting with Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and officers.

MP Sir Nicholas Soames

MP Sir Nicholas Soames

It was agreed at the meeting that police will assist the village’s parade from next year.

The branch has cancelled its parade this year over safety fears and lack of volunteers.

Several ‘adverse’ incidents last year led to the decision, along with a high threat of terrorism.

The branch said it was ‘absolutely gutted’ but it ‘simply had no choice’ as its safety risk assessment had failed.

It also said it had ‘no support’, as police no longer manned the roads like they once did.

Chairman Jane Harding said: “I am so relived that the police are going to be present from next year as this was a huge part of the issue in cancelling it this year.

“As said in my letter safety was paramount, especially with so many children in the parade.

“Now with common sense, the police will be there next year to assist and everyone can feel safe.

“This is such a great result, especially that next year is the centenary special, when it marks the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War.”

Andrew Harding, president of the branch, added: “We received an email from Nicholas last night and I wrote back and said you are a star, it is terric news.”

MP Sir Nicholas Soames told the Middy: “I have been on this since the day it first it started. Police have got their priorities wrong on this.

“It is an incredibly important day and police should make the effort.

“Katy Bourne has been excellent on this and it was agreed in the meeting that there will be assistance by special constables and police cadets at the parade from next year.

“Police are very busy, they have an immense and difficult job, and are pushed to their resourses, everyone knows that, but I think they need to get their priorities right.

“Bigger smaller parades like Lindfield need to have police assistance.

“This is the most important act of remembrance in this nation every year. It is not good at all for our country if we just forget it.

“It is a great sadness that Lindfield have had to cancel their parade this year. I know they had problems with motorists last year which was absolutely disgusting behaviour.

“I am looking to the future now and the police have come up with this very good idea and I think it will be good for the training of the cadets and specials.

“I am very grateful to Katy’s positive response.”

Lindield RBL is still putting on a remembrance service on Sunday at All Saints Church.

People are welcome to the service and due to limited space, the branch requests people to be seated inside the church by 2.45pm.