How Mirfield's Remembrance parade became one of the country's biggest
“I have been proud to work with the best there is in the district. To each and everyone I can only say thank you very much.”
That’s the message from Royal British Legion stalwart Tim Wood as he prepares to take part in his 50th and final Remembrance parade in Mirfield on Sunday, November 14.
Tim, who is reluctantly stepping back from his role with the Legion’s Mirfield branch to focus on his business, has been reflecting on his involvement with the town’s annual commemorations over the years.
“I have always gone down to the Remembrance parade,” he said.
“In the early 70s it was with Ravensthorpe Boys Brigade and then as a member of RAFA, when I carried the standard and the union standard.
“After that it was very much in my bloodstream.”
Tim joined the Mirfield branch of the Royal British Legion more than 25 years ago, and in that time has played a key role in organising the town’s Remembrance parade and service.
“Looking back over the years, Mirfield’s parade was very much a sleeping giant. We managed to wake the giant up and get him on our side,” he said.
“I can honestly say that myself and the people that have been dedicated alongside me have enjoyed the achievements.
“We have seen it become possibly one of the biggest parades outside Whitehall in London.
“We are totally proud of that achievement and the fact that it brings people together, young and older, in particular the youngsters - it gives them a sense of perspective for future years.”
Tim thanked Mirfield Town Council for its financial support towards the parade, as well as the volunteers who help to organise the events.
“The organisation of the parade is like a big jigsaw. Each year we put it back together again,” he said.
“Over the years I have been assisted by some brilliant people.
“It’s never been my effort alone and I would never claim that accolade.
“It’s been a massive team effort from dedicated and sincere people throughout Mirfield.
“Part of our team put the cones out throughout Mirfield to comply with the road closure order.
“We set out in the hours of darkness and go up into Ings Grove Park to clean up the memorial.
“These acts behind the scenes totally go unnoticed by people attending the service.
“It’s for acts like these that I would like to say a big thank you for giving up their own time in all weathers to do things that are a vital part of the parade and service.”
Tim, who runs the Old Colonial pub in Mirfield, said his decision to step back from his role with the Legion was prompted by the ongoing effects of the pandemic and the tough times the hospitality sector continues to face.
But he added: “I’m not going to retire and hide in a cupboard somewhere. I will always be part of Mirfield’s show of gratitude to those who gave so much.”
Anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer with the Mirfield branch of the Royal British Legion can call Tim on 01924 496920.