THE  DOVER WAR MEMORIAL  PROJECT

 

 

Dover Regatta 2007


A WEEKEND AT THE SEASIDE

August 11th and 12th - and the weather looks good. The Regatta's an annual event in Dover, when the length of the beach and promenade comes alive with seaside fun.  Here are some crews preparing for the dragon boat races. 

view of beach and dragon boats

In the background is the famed Dover Castle, and beside it the Roman lighthouse, Pharos, and St Mary in Castro church

view of our tent

our display

Our stand was on the promenade. We shared a tent with Fairtrade, by kind courtesy of Dover Town Council.

Set up and ready to go! As well as the mobile exhibition, we brought war-time memorabilia from our various collections, including Great War silk postcards sent from the Front, and a 16mm projector complete with loudspeaker.

   

people looking at the display

carnival court of Dover
Many people were interested in finding out more about our Dovorian casualties ... ...including the lovely Carnival Court of Dover - who smiled the whole day through! (Such glamour - Maggie confessed to feeling rather star-struck afterwards!)

Ah, and speaking of Dover stars ... most supportive of the Dover War Memorial Project stand was our Mayor, Bob Markham.

In "mufti", and in regalia, he was at the Regatta all weekend. He did us the honour of throwing the dart at the board to select the winner of the coffeemaker, kindly donated to the Dover War Memorial Project for fund-raising.

(Thankfully, his aim is much better than Maggie's - whose top score from the oche is always double-floor!)

Bob Markham, Mayor

   

 

Providing the energy to party the whole weekend was a super Latin market and many other goodies besides ...

 

 air plane

...while the Tigers Free Fall team provided many thrills,  landing with accuracy right on the target

tubs of olives


paraglider

 

 

So none of them needed the services of the Sea King air-sea rescue!

heklicopter winching person from the sea

Meanwhile, back at the Dover War Memorial Project stand ...

Lord Boyce

.. here is someone who knows more than most about the sea. This is Admiral the Lord Boyce, GCB OBE DL, Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle. He had a distinguished Naval career, becoming a submarine commander and, in 1998, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. In 2001 he became Chief of Defence Staff, and was appointed as Lord Warden in 2004. His immediate predecessor was Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

Lord Boyce visited our stand several times, and we were both thrilled and greatly honoured that he should have chosen to spend much time speaking to us about the Dover War Memorial Project.

   

There were many attractions on the promenade and in the gardens behind. Model motorboats, a funfair, and the very popular South Eastern Working Newfoundlands. This one's a Landseer, named after the artist who often painted the black and white variety. As they demonstrated both days, they love the water, and are natural life guards.

 

Events went on into the night.

 fireworks erupting form the beach

The first day of the Regatta finished with a a fabulatastic fireworks display, with the fireworks launched from the beach.

Newfoundland, black and white


bursting firework

They could have heard and seen them in France!

Dr Hinton

The Reverend Dr Michael Hinton also visited us. He once was my brother's headteacher (oo-er!), but his much greater claim to fame is as creator of the world-selling "100-Minute Bible".

Dr Hinton is also an active member of Christians Together in Dover, and it was they who held the closing event of the Regatta. Hundreds of people attended the seafront Songs of Praise, during which the sea was blessed and prayers spoken for the maritime life of Dover.

 Regatta Songs of Praise

At the end of a brilliant weekend, we sang of freedom while seeing boats on brilliantly blue water leaving the harbour. For us, at the Regatta to commemorate and honour all those from our frontline town who had lost their lives in war, it was most moving. We remembered all those other boats that had left our home, filled with those who fought and died for our futures; we looked across to France, and thought of two volunteers, who were at that moment over there, visiting the graves of those who had fallen; we thought of how once even the sunny sky overhead was a battlefield black with clouds of planes defending our homes. 

We sang in the sunshine "Freedoms to share; Peace to the killing fields".

We have so much for which to be thankful. May we never forget.
 

*

all pictures by Simon John Chambers
with thanks to the organisers, Andy, Michelle, Gill, and Dover Town Council

Next year's Regatta - 2nd and 3rd August 2008




Copyright 2007 Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved