Stanhope Hall came to the rescue after wet weather threatened to put a dampener on Horncastle’s VE Day 70th anniversary celebrations.
A three-day programme of events marked the occasion, which involved the Royal British Legion, Stanhope Hall and The Horncastle War Memorial Centre and others.
The weekend kicked off on Friday at 3pm when the Rev. Charles Patrick led a service of Remembrance outside Horncastle’s War Memorial Centre, which was well attended by the Town Council, The RBL and the general public.
The organisers then prepared for the Beacon to be lit on the Wong by putting out bunting. The weather broke and the wet weather plan was put into place and Stanhope Hall was opened to provide shelter from the elements.
The car park was cordoned off and the Beacon positioned in the middle allowing room for both the 1265 Squadron Air Training Cadets from Horncastle along with Coningsby’s 17 Squadron to parade in front of the crowd.
Jonathan of North Street’s JOF’s Café cooked the hotdogs, Banovallum Brass played the fanfare, Mike Allard read the tribute and Chairman of the County Council Bill Aron along with the Mayor of Horncastle Sandra Campbell-Wardman lit the Beacon at exactly 9.32pm after a roaring countdown from the spectators.
John Nowik kindly set up the PA system and played 40s music. Don Blackbourn’s 1940s Jeep was on display and Coun Aron thanked everyone for coming.
On Saturday afternoon, Stanhope Hall hosted the afternoon of tea and cakes. There was also a chance to dance to 1940s music, an event enjoyed by all those who attended. John was again thanked for providing the music.
On Sunday afternoon, Stanhope Hall hosted The Horncastle Branch of the RBL who had organised the judging of a painting competition with a VE theme. There were approximately 170 entries from local young people.
As a finale, to Horncastle’s events the BBMF’s Dakota was planned to come over Stanhope Hall at 2.30pm, but for operational reasons it unfortunately had to be re-scheduled for 4.30pm.
Rose Williams, one of the organisers said, “It was a very busy week-end but very successful and worthwhile and shows the value of Stanhope Hall for the community.”