STREELIGHTS on Town Hall Square will be switched off on Monday (Aug 4th) as Reading marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. A single light will be switched on in the Town Hall’s Silverthorne Room between 10pm and 11pm.
At the same time Reading Mayor, Cllr Tony Jones, will lead an hour-long candle-lit vigil at the War Memorial outside Forbury Gardens. British Legion representatives will join the Mayor at the vigil on August 4th.
The light switch-off at Town Hall Square and the War Memorial vigil is Reading’s own contribution to the national ‘Lights Out’ campaign, organised to mark 100 years since the Great War began. ‘Lights Out’ is an invitation to everyone in the UK to turn off their lights from 10pm until 11pm, leaving on a single light or candle as part of a shared moment of reflection.
On the eve of the declaration of war, Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary at the time, said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
Councillor Jones is now inviting Reading residents to mark the centenary by joining in the ‘Lights Out’ switch-off, or by alternatively joining him and members of the British Legion at the Forbury Gardens War Memorial from 10pm. Candles will be extinguished throughout the hour until the final symbolic flame is put out at 11 pm - the actual time the UK joined the First World War.