British actor and film producer, Michael Medwin OBE was the surprise celebrity who attended a remembrance ceremony at a packed Barrington Theatre in Ferndown on 3 November.
Variety Remembrance was produced and directed by Warren Brown as a ‘salute’ to those who have served their country. It was also an opportunity for Ferndown to celebrate its wealth of talent and to recognise its oldest resident.
Peggy Hovell, 102, was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Michael Medwin and was so thrilled with the gesture that she waved her bouquet with great enthusiasm for all to see. Michael said he felt humbled and honoured to present the flowers.
Dignitaries and members of the public who had gathered for the afternoon event enjoyed a combination of readings, prayers and hymns led by the Rev’d Adrian Thomas as well as processions, dancing and songs. Singers included those placed in the Voice of Ferndown and West End performer Richard Sidaway.
Winston Churchill lookalike, Derek Herbert, gave the famous ‘Battle of Britain’ speech and Warren Brown performed a moving song he’d written for the occasion called ‘My Best Friend.’ The finale ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ got everyone to their feet in a flag waving show of patriotism.
Deputy Mayor of Ferndown, Cllr Steve Lugg thanked the audience and everyone behind the scenes. He paid tribute to Warren Brown, “It couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for this guy,” he said, adding that he was so proud of Ferndown, “We’ve had a renaissance this year. With the pram race, the Voice and now this Variety Remembrance. We are a growing and positive community.”
The event raised money for Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Jon Egging Trust.