Remembrance Day 10th November 2019

21951060_10154954325856717_3888946397973511210_oThe Parish Council assists with organising Remembrance Day services at Heath Hayes and Wimblebury.

If anyone wants to volunteer to help as a Marshall, or wants to take over the management of the event, please contact the Clerk on In 2020, it will be held on 8th November.

The Heath Hayes event is held in November on the nearest Sunday to 11th. In 2019, this was Sunday 10th November.

Previously, the main church service alternated between St John’s Church and Bourne Methodist Church. In 2019, this will be St John’s at 10am and the information will be updated as the future of the Bourne Church is uncertain (November 2019).

There will be a service and silence at the Memorial Gates at 11.00am. Please assemble at 10.40am inside the gates at Heath Hayes Park.

The Public Address will be set up to project into the park. The names of the fallen will be displayed inside the park. The gates will be open during the proceedings and closed afterwards.


  • The Clerk was called in to Cannock Police Station and told that there would not be the same amount of officers as last year (8) and a minimum of four was not possible. In fact, none could be guaranteed at all. In addition, they would not manage traffic. The Council could not fund a marked car and any officers that were funded, would result in the ones posted to the event being redeployed. (On the day, no police officers nor PCSOs attended, three Special Police Officers attended with one vehicle. Two operational, one participating in the event).
  • The Council is required to ensure adequate insurance cover for all activities and has to undertake a Risk Assessment. Every year, there are instances of aggressive drivers and last year, one person actually drove at a Marshall. Furthermore, unfortunately quite a few individuals will not co-operate with the Marshalls nor with the arrangements and this has to be taken into account with the planning and makes managing the event harder.
  • In addition to all the houses with cars, there are 11 vehicle access points on the Hednesford Road that need covering, with traffic stopped firstly for the Parade between the Cons Club and St Joh’s at 9.40am. Then closing Hednesford Road between Gorsemoor Road and Five Ways Island with the road shut from Chapel Street to Five Ways from 10.40 to 11.25am.
  • Wimblebury Road is closed from 10.40am to 11.20am.
  • Five Ways Island is closed from 10.50am to 11.20am. This causes massive queues, aggressive and impatient drivers, loud radios, revving and general childish behaviour. It’s not just the drivers, the pedestrians are no better.
  • Checking with our insurers, it was clear that without adequate Police support, it was not possible to ensure the reasonable safety of the participants nor to manage the traffic.
  • The Cannock Chase Drum Corps had already stopped meeting and had reported that they would not be attending this year.
  • The Council took the only legitimate decision and agreed that it was not sensible to apply for a road closure nor attempt to close roads and manage traffic.
  • The gates were opened and those attending were asked to enter Heath Hayes Park where the Public Address system had been set up so that everyone in the park could clearly hear the proceedings and were not “drowned out” by the passing traffic.  Those not willing or refusing to enter the park made their choice. The PA was working perfectly inside the park.
  • Previously, when there was a road closure, vehicles were stationary on the adjacent road for up to 25 minutes and every year, there was revving, sounding horns and loud radios. Attempts to ask them to desist were often met with abuse or very loud three-point turns.
  • Two female Special Police Officers, who are unpaid volunteers were subject of abusive comments about the road closures which is not only ignorant and ungrateful but is also unhelpful for future events.
  • The choices for 2020 onwards are to repeat the 2019 arrangements, if a Parade is wanted then there would be a need to employ a Management Company or to allow some other person/group to take over.
  • Remembrance Sunday is not a Parish Council responsibility. It can be managed by any person or group so if anyone has any positive suggestions or wants to volunteer to run the 2020 event, please, email


There was an event at the Wimblebury War Memorial on Sunday 3rd November.

November 3rd 2019 Order of Service 


Please contact the Clerk for further details.


I have been asked to clarify some issues about the “There But Not There” project and the Tommy silhouette.

Tommy is a national project to get these iconic figures across the country to help remind people about the sacrifices made for us and for communities to show their support and respect.

It was also to raise much needed funds for Help for Heroes, The Royal Foundation, Heads Together, Walking with the Wounded, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Project Equinox to house veterans. £15 million. The Tommies are made by veterans employed by the Royal British Legion. The design is copyrighted and a trademarked and should only be used for approved figures that have been approved by the RoyalBritish Legion.

Five Ways Inn raised £750 which was the purchase price. We are very grateful and thank all involved. The Parish Council will fund the remainder. Our Tommy will be placed on guard on Five Ways Island by the fingerpost pointing towards the Memorial Gates.

He will serve as a poignant and permanent reminder of the loss and sacrifice of service personnel and their families over the years and as a fitting tribute from the people of Heath Hayes and Wimblebury to show that we will never forget. The whole point behind the design is to produce a recognisable and iconic image and for that image to be seen all over the country as a national show of solidarity.

So before you criticise the design or the charitable donation, please consider that the funds go to help those in need and the design was deliberate to be “There But Not There”.

Tommy perfectly embodies the ethos of “There But Not There” as he goes from being almost invisible to obviously there. The slightly bowed head in respect shows that it is not glorifying war, but a solemn remembrance of and respect for those who gave so much.



Mr Andrew Bottomer.


Mr Andrew Bottomer, son of former Councillor Brian Bottomer used to attend the service and read out the names of the fallen, proudly wearing his father’s RAF and Fire Service medals. He died on 16th October 2019 and I have spoken to his widow and sent a condolence card on behalf of the Council.

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