Despite hiring a professional company to provide the public address system for Hucknall’s Remembrance Service on Sunday after problems in the past, it failed at the vital moment leaving organisers helpless and the congregation dismayed.
Over 1,000 people were gathered at the Titchfield Park cenotaph following the parade through town to hear the address by Rev Kathryn Herrod but for the fourth year in succession the sound system failed leaving hundreds unable to hear the service.
But the Hucknall branch of the Royal British Legion have moved this week to defend their position and say they were not to blame.
“We this year decided at considerable cost to the club to hire a professional outdoor events PA company (not from the poppy appeal money) for this year’s ceremony,” explained president David Gargett. “Unfortunately the system they used, which was working perfectly prior to the service, had an amplifier blowout.
“These things happen and it was out of our control but the RBL volunteers were very upset by the reaction of some of those in attendance who levelled verbal abuse at our members.
“We were as disappointed as everyone else and felt embarrassed by the situation as we had hoped that by taking the decision to hire an outside company to do the PA system for us, this would be the year we wouldn’t have any problems.”
The RBL members and volunteers organise the whole event from the service to the parade, invitations to groups as well as sending out the poppy collecting tins and selling the iconic badges from street corners and supermarkets.
“It is a huge event here in Hucknall and is well attended and supported but all our efforts are forgotten with the system failure which wasn’t our fault,” added Mr Gargett.
“We have spoken to the company who have refunded our money and offered to provide their services for free next year as well as make a significant donation to the Poppy Appeal. And we will bring our own system as a back-up as well.”
Sherwood MP Mark Spencer who witnessed the problems first hand said support should be offered to the RBL to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“It has become a standing joke about the PA system failing at the service and we were talking about it in the Market Square as the parade formed,” said Mr Spencer.”When we arrived at Titchfield Park and found out it had failed again we just couldn’t believe it. It is very embarrassing.
“I will contact the RBL and offer my help and I hope other people will as well to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”