Leek is known as the Queen of the Moorlands and it is important that we keep our public spaces in good order. The Nicholson War Memorial, known locally as the ‘Monument’, is in the care of Leek Town Council. We maintain its Portland stone edifice and the ornate benches, gates, and floral displays. Built in 1925 the Monument is arguably the most important building in the Town and is the focal point for acts of remembrance by the British Legion and the people of the Moorlands.
Remembrance Sunday usually sees a large gathering of people at the Monument remembering the fallen from the wars and conflicts of past years. It is always an impressive turnout and is humbling to see hundreds of people maintain the tradition of the 2 minutes silence during the public service. The Covid alert level has now moved to high here in the Moorlands and so this year uniquely there will be no public assembly, no marches, and no road closures. This is following advice from Public Health and the Police. To have hundreds of people gathered around the Monument standing still and close together during a pandemic is simply not safe.
I understand that Leek TV and Moorlands Radio will have coverage of the official wreath laying which will be strictly limited to a few nominated representatives. Please do not come to the Monument you should instead have your acts of remembrance safely at home.
The virus has claimed too many victims without inviting it into our families on that day – albeit with the best intentions. The enemy that is Covid is an insidious and malevolent one and we need to fight it with the weapons that will defeat it – Distancing from each other – Washing hands thoroughly before touching your face – Wearing a mask to prevent the asymptomatic spread of the virus.
The virus can bring virtually no symptoms for some whilst making others critically ill. Nobody wants to get the disease and no sane person can think its ok to ignore the rules designed to protect us all. Right now, you may be carrying the virus forward to others – so please just follow the rules and let us see the R number go below 1 – and the demise of Covid.
Financial stress is being felt by families affected by loss of income due to redundancies. It is at times of greatest need we should find a generosity of spirit to each other. The biblical parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most powerful. Showing true compassion for a stranger who had been beaten and robbed has a special resonance in these times. The support groups that exist in Leek are providing vital help to those who need it. Food banks, Community Cupboards, Survive Together, the Salvation Army and other agencies here in Leek are helping with Food and Household supplies. There is help with shopping and getting prescriptions and a listening ear for the lonely.
Please give each other a helping hand whenever and however you can.
Cllr Stephen Wales Leek Town Mayor