Tommy Tomorrow Event

To commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Armistice and the subsequent end to WW1, a special event – Tommy Tomorrow – took place in Haughton Green Denton, Manchester.

This four-day event was curated by Eventfull Community Team, a group of volunteers who have organised various local events in Haughton Green including last year’s Passchendaele 1917-2017. Tommy Tomorrow ran from Friday 5 – Monday 8 October on Haughton Green’s historic village green in Denton, known as The Tommy Todd.

The centrepiece of Tommy Tomorrow was a display of 100 large white crosses – 50 of them representing the local men who fought in the Great War. The other 50 crosses featuring poems and information on the global impact of WW1. Outdoor display boards allowed local schools and community groups to present their WW1 related projects as part of Tommy Tomorrow, and were all invited to visit the event as part of their curriculum. Their work was on view throughout the duration of the event.

Local schools and community groups who took part included: Ambition For Ageing, The Royal British Legion, Regional Military Regiments (including the Manchester Regiment 1914 -18 Group), Royal Engineers, Cheshire Regiment, Mercian regiment, Military Charities, Local Cadet Organisations as well as many historians and poets. Two Manchester Bees were also on display: Lest We Forget from Gorse Hall School, Stalybridge and Bee MAD from Russell Scott School, Denton.

The Great War Society performed at the event dressed in full army uniform. Their re-enactment aimed to give people an insight into what life was like during WW1.

A marquee set up on site hosted part of the British Muslim Heritage Centre’s exhibition, Stories Of Sacrifice, and local historians exhibited WW1 artefacts and gave talks to the schools, along with information on their collections, these included Manchester regiment and polish involvement in WW1.

At 2pm on Sunday 7 October, people paid their respects to those of all faiths and cultures who paid the ultimate sacrifice. An interfaith service was presided over by Rev David Gray, Padre to the Manchester Regiments. The Mayor of Tameside, Andrew Gwynne MP and shadow secretary of state for communities and local government, Rev Glew from St Mary’s Haughton Green, and Tony Walsh (The Manchester Poet) along with various musicians and military representatives took part in the service; which was augmented by standard-bearers and culminated in a dove release.

At sundown on each day of the event, candles were lit by each cross and ‘The Last Post’ played by a young musician from a local youth group from St. Mary’s Church.

Of the 50 local heroes who fought in WW1, over 20 of their homes remain in the area. The current residents agreed to let the organisers create a poppy trail for the public, by displaying a commemorative badge in their window and a poppy plaque outside their homes. This was used to access details of the combatant who lived there, via a QR code.