2018 was a big year for many hundreds of thousands of people remembering the end of the Great War, in Brighton. As Patcham's War Memorial Hall, we celebrated the end of the battle that was supposed to "end all wars" by showing how a community that works together on a positive project can make a difference. The weekend of 10th & 11th November 2018 also celebrated our successful four-year refurbishment project.
Saturday 10th November We hosted an interactive afternoon and an indoor picnic with WI's famous homemade cakes, with Peace poetry and prose 1918-2018, and Brighton Choir 'Naked Voices' singing topical and contemporary songs. The 'Patcham in the Great War' exhibition from Patcham Library was on display alongside art and poetry work done by children from Westdene Primary School and others. Some members of Patcham History Society who had carried out the research for that exhibition, and descendants of the survivors from Patcham's soldiers, were with us, to talk about their research and their family history. Suffragettes and others in period costume from the city's Museum Service mingled with the crowd and told stories from the GreatWar era. We finished the day with the 1967 film "Oh what a Lovely War", which was filmed in Brighton. Some people who had been involved with catering and music for the film were able to join us and talk about their experiences.
Sunday 11th November At 1pm, we dedicated a new Roll of Honour, naming the soldiers from Patcham for whom the Memorial Hall was built. Some descendants of the men unveiled the two new plaques, and talked about their family life in Patcham. They, and other members of the community, then planted nine Rosa Pax, a lovely Pemberton rose released in 1918 to commemorate the end of the Great War. A Swing Tea Dance, followed with local dancers and music provided by Ralph Sayers. People were generous with donations to cover the various activities, for which no charge was made. Some local businesses also "Sponsored Peace" by helping buy rose bushes for our garden.