Remembrance Day – we will still remember them

Blackburn will be paying its respects by holding a light projection show in the heart of the town.

Blackburn Town Hall will be given a digital makeover and transformed into a light extravaganza – thanks to funding from Arts Council England (ACE).

The money will support the delivery of an architectural mapping projection lighting installation for Blackburn Town Hall from November until early January – featuring Remembrance Day graphics, a virtual Blackburn Festival of Light, and Christmas and New Year themed footage.

From 4-11 November, a Remembrance themed projection created by Double Take Projections including images of Blackburn soldiers, wartime newspaper archives, local war poetry, and a poppies animation will light up the town hall.

The projection includes archive photos and newspaper articles from Blackburn Library, and the poetry narration features war poems written by local people and sent into the Blackburn Times newspaper at the time.

Christina Gabbitas, who has written our specially commissioned Believe in the Magic of Blackburn town centre book -which will be projected onto the Town Hall at the end of November – narrated the poems.

Each creative animation will be just a few minutes long and will run repeatedly from dusk each day.  Professionally filmed footage of the projection will be available online on Sunday and Wednesday and we will be showing excerpts of it for the whole week on social media.

People can visit the projection while visiting essential shops and services, or during their daily exercise and the footage will be accessible online. 

The footage is being given to Blackburn Library after the projection so they can show it on the Cotton Town website.  I’ve already had a request to buy the footage!

Eddie Maxwell, Blackburn Poppy Appeal organiser, said: “This stunning visual display on Blackburn Town Hall will commemorate those who sacrificed so much in the First World War, and in all conflicts since.

“It serves as a reminder to us all that as well as remembering these sacrifices, we still need to support those in our armed forces community – and more so during the current climate where those serving continue to act with such selfless valour.

“It’s a great display and it reminds everyone that every poppy counts as we approach Remembrance Sunday.”

Blackburn town centre BID, which supports town centre businesses, is working in partnership with Blackburn Festival of Light, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackburn Central Library and Blackburn Museum to bring the attraction to the town.

Catherine Price, Blackburn Town Centre BID Manager, said: “With the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic meaning that large scale events cannot go ahead, we have been working hard with partners on ‘reimagining Christmas’.

“This year we’ve had to take a very different approach to ensure that we still support the businesses within the town centre, but also ensure the safety of visitors – no matter what restrictions are in place.

“We have commissioned creative animations to be projected on to Blackburn Town Hall and we’re sure that this digital approach will bring Blackburn to life in a safe and engaging way.  I’m really proud that we can include a Remembrance themed projection in our activities to mark the occasion and provide a safe way for us to honour and remember the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces community.”

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