Redcar and the North East Remember - Pages Of The Sea #AD

3 Nov 2018

Armistice Day and remembering those who fought in WWI is something that is significant in our family. We had many great great relatives who sadly lost their lives and so it's very important to us that we take time out to think of them and contemplate the great sacrifice that they made. We've even been to Belgium to pay our respects at the Menin Gate, but this November 11th, we won't need to travel so far.

2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War and to commemorate this, legendary filmmaker, Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 127 Hours), is inviting the UK to remember the fallen in a unique way. Pages Of The Sea is a nationwide art commission that will see events taking place on beaches across the country to pay tribute to the people that sailed away from the shores to war. Each event will vary depending on the location, but we are lucky enough to have two events taking place right here in the North East, including one on our very own Redcar beach.

Danny Boyle said: “Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide. They seem the perfect place to gather and say a final goodbye and thank you to those whose lives were taken or forever changed by the First World War. I'm inviting people to watch as the faces of the fallen are etched in the sand, and for communities to come together to remember the sacrifices that were made.”
Left photo: my great, great, great grandfather, Matthew Lodge, in his uniform for WWI. Middle photo: Matthew Lodge and his sons (including my great great grandfather, Frank Lodge) in their uniforms for WWII. Right photo: my great great grandfather, Ernest Knaggs, in his last family photo before he left for the Somme and was killed in the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.

This event promises to be a beautiful and touching spectacle that will see Sand In Your Eye, the sand artist group, coming together to create a large-scale portrait of a local casualty. A poem written by Carol Ann Duffy especially for this event will also be etched into the sand by calligraphy artist Angela Reed alongside the soldier portrait. There will be the opportunity for attendees to create their own silhouettes of the men and women that served in the war alongside this artwork, giving everyone the chance to add a personal touch. Everyone will then be able to watch as the portrait and accompanying artwork is washed away as the tide comes in at around 2:30PM, saying goodbye to the heroes for one last time.

To make this Remembrance Day even more personal, an online gallery has been launched with images from the Imperial War Museum of the men and women who lost their lives. You are able to search for names to say goodbye virtually, or you can add your own photos to memorialise a family member or community member within the gallery.

To add to the atmosphere of the Redcar event, there will be live acoustic music from local bands and a poetry performance from Teesside based poets, Bob Beagrie and Andy Willoughby. They will be bringing together Teesside Poetry Connexion and students from Ryehill’s Academy in Redcar to read work created with the students, as well as a mass reading of the Carol Ann Duffy poem at 3PM.

I always feel so calm when I'm by the sea. There's something about hearing the waves and the seagulls, and feeling the salty wind in your face that just makes me feel so peaceful. If you feel the same way, then Redcar is the perfect place for some quiet contemplation, as part of the Pages Of The Sea event or on your own, as there is plenty of scenery to take in or independent eateries to view the sea from.
Source: Enjoy Tees Valley

Event organisers, Sunderland Culture, said, "We’re also thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver this event with friends and colleagues from Teesside on one of the most beautiful beaches in the North East. I hope the people of Redcar and the wider Teesside area will support Pages of the Sea which will be a moving and memorable tribute to those who laid down their lives in the First World War.

We are so lucky to have our beach selected as one of those to feature an event like this. It promises to be an interactive and unique experience that is designed to bring the community together to remember as a whole. It's often said that our little corner of the North East is forgotten about, but this event shows that great heroes came from our area, so this is a brilliant way to highlight them to the UK and the younger generations.

I'm looking forward to going along and taking part in the activities with my family. We've been to lots of church services and wreath layings, all of which are still great things to do on Armistice Day, but we simply can't miss out on this opportunity to be a part of a larger scale Remembrance event.

If you'd like to find out more about Pages Of The Sea Redcar, you can take a look at the Facebook event page. You can also use #PagesOfTheSea on Twitter and Instagram to see updates from the other events across the country, helping us to remember together.

Pages Of The Sea takes place on Redcar beach on Sunday 11th November from 12PM - 3PM. It is recommended that members of the public visit in the afternoon in order to experience the artwork and activities fully. This is a free event and will take place, whatever the weather.

This post was sponsored by Sunderland Culture. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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