D-Day 80: Worthing council reveals D-Day 80 plans amid backlash

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Adur and Worthing Councils have explained their plans for D-Day 80 amid concerns from the public that the proposed marks of respect did not go far enough.

Residents wrote to the Worthing Herald, and took to social media, to express their disappointment that there will be no official lighting ceremony in Worthing or Lancing to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Asked why the beacons will not be lit – like in other towns across the county – a spokesperson for Adur & Worthing Councils said: "We have taken this decision not to light the beacon because we believe we can reach more people through the bell-ringing in a more sustainable way.

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"There are a range of remembrance events taking place across Adur and Worthing to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day this year and, as with previous years, we are mindful to mark this significant period of history.

The Worthing beacon was installed on the promenade on Worthing seafront, just west of the pier, in 1999, and is owned by the council. Photo: Google Street ViewThe Worthing beacon was installed on the promenade on Worthing seafront, just west of the pier, in 1999, and is owned by the council. Photo: Google Street View
The Worthing beacon was installed on the promenade on Worthing seafront, just west of the pier, in 1999, and is owned by the council. Photo: Google Street View

"Worthing Borough Council has organised a coordinated bell-ringing event with local churches to take place on Thursday 6th June. At 6.30pm bells will ring out at the town hall as well as at St Andrew's in Tarring, St Botolph's in Heene, St Mary's in Broadwater, St Mary's in Goring and All Saints Findon Valley.

"In Lancing, the parish council will be raising the Flag of Peace and in Shoreham there will be a beacon-lighting ceremony by the Friends of Shoreham Fort.

"In Worthing, there will be a coordinated bell ringing event at 6.30pm tonight, with bells ringing out at the town hall and at churches across the borough.”

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The Lancing beacon was installed on the Lancing Beach Green, just east of The Perch Café, in 2022, and is owned by the council.

It was lit for the first time as part of a string of beacons across the UK to mark the celebrations of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

The Worthing beacon was installed on the promenade on Worthing seafront, just west of the pier, in 1999, and is also owned by the council.

It was lit for the first time as part of a string of beacons across the UK to mark the new Millennium celebrations at the turn of the Century (2000), and also to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday on April 21, 2016.

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In a social media post, the councils said they ‘honour the bravery of those who fought for our freedom’.

A Facebook post read: “Today marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings – honouring the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for our freedom.

"As we reflect on this pivotal moment in history, we pay tribute to the heroes who stormed the beaches of Normandy, changing the course of history. Let us remember their courage.

"There are a series of commemorations and events planned locally, across the UK and in France today. In Worthing, there will be a coordinated bell-ringing event taking place from 6.30pm - with bells ringing in unison at the town hall as well as at St Andrew's in Tarring, St Botolph's in Heene, St Mary's in Broadwater, St Mary's in Goring and All Saints Findon Valley.

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"At Lancing Parish Hall there will be afternoon tea and entertainment provided by Lancing Parish Council from 2pm to 4pm, as well as a special proclamation by the town crier and the raising of a D-Day flag.

"In Shoreham there will be a beacon-lighting ceremony at Shoreham Fort at 9.15pm, with hot and cold drinks and ice creams available to purchase.

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