A Chester theatre company drew in to Ellesmere Port and Little Sutton railway stations today (September 11) at the launch of a month-long tour of a production to remember soldiers who fought in the First World War.
Theatre in the Quarter's community choir of soldiers, nurses and their families recreated the poignant and historic moment when soldiers from the area departed from their local railway station.
More than 350 children from local primary schools were also involved in the production including St Bernard's, Little Sutton, Sutton Green, St Mary's of the Angels, Westminster, Our Lady Star of the Sea and Woodlands primary schools following workshops with Theatre in the Quarter and Homegrown Dance Theatre company.
They played children waving their older brothers and sisters off to war and sang an original anthem entitled If I Had Been There at the Station, written by Helen Newall and Matt Baker.
Matt said: "It was an incredible day where every generation found a way to remember those soldiers and nurses who left Ellesmere Port and Little Sutton in 1914 and particularly those who didn't come back."
During September the company, working with Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership, will present the piece at railway stations in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
Sally Buttifant, Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership officer, added: “This project is about remembering local people and the sacrifice that they made, and the journey that began at their local station.
“It’s reminding people of the importance of the railway network and stations, as communities played their part in this world-changing event.”
Over By Christmas is a free event and part of the Imperial War Museum’s First World War Centenary Project. It will be calling at the following stations and venues:
- September 12 - Poynton Community Centre at 11am and Handforth Royal British Legion at 2pm
- September 13 - Goostrey Station Car Park at 10.20am; Hanford Hall in Handforth at noon and 2pm; outside Holmes Chapel Station 4.30pm.
- September 14 - Outside Chester Station at noon and 5pm; Outside Delamere Station 2pm; Delamere Visitors Centre, 3.30pm.
- September 19 - Helsby Station at 10.10am; Frodsham Station 11.20am and 12.15pm; Runcorn East Station Green at 1.35pm.
- September 20 - Northwich Station at 10.30am; Plumley Station Car Park at 11.40am; Hale Platform 2 at 2pm; Stockport Station at 3.30pm and 4.15pm.
- September 21 - Crewe Station at 12.30pm and 1.30pm; Outside Congleton Station at 4pm and 5pm.
- September 22 - Blacon Old Station Site at 9.30am, 10.40am and 1.30pm.
- September 25 - Manchester Piccadilly Station Foyer at 11am, noon and 1.30pm.
- September 27 - Willaston Hadlow Road at 11am and 12.30pm; Saughall Vernon Institute 2pm.
- September 28 - Outside Poynton Station ticket office at 11am; Macclesfield Station Car Park at 12.30pm and 2.30pm.