Darkness will descend and time will stand still in Skegness on August 4 as we remember those who lost their lives during the First World War.
On August 4, 1914 lights across Britain started to go out as we prepared to go to war with Germany. 100 years later the lights of Skegness Illuminations will be extinguished as we remember the words of 1914’s Foreign Secretary, Edward Gray.
“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
The Skegness illuminations will start to go off shortly before 10pm until the only light remaining will be the one illuminating the Clock Tower face – which will be frozen at 10pm as a mark of respect and remembrance. Lights will come back on after 11pm but the clock will remain frozen at 10pm for 12 hours to allow for continued reflection.
The act will form part of East Lindsey District Council’s involvement in the LIGHTS OUT project – part of the cultural programme 14-18 NOW initiated by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport where civic buildings, landmarks, war memorials and businesses will each have a single light illuminated amid a sea of darkness between 10-11pm on August 4. The project will complement a candlelit vigil at Westminster Abbey taking place at the same time.
Skegness Councillor and artist, John Byford, who put forward the idea of switching off the illuminations said: “This symbolic gesture will mark the moment when lights went out in 1914. Stopping the clock allows time for reflection of the past, appreciation of the present, and to consider our future.”
Mayor of Skegness, Councillor George Saxon, added: “It is fantastic that we are able to take part in this project on such a large scale in Skegness. I hope that the gesture will not go unnoticed among those who witness it. We must remember what happened in the years after 1914 and make sure that nothing like it ever happens again.”
District Council Chairman, Councillor Robert Palmer, said: “At 10pm on August 4, 1914 Britain declared war on Germany, ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history. We will be taking part in this important and poignant project to remember all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and the families left behind.”