Erewash celebrates a month packed full of anniversaries

NILALC100507A4 - Erewash election. Conservative winner Jessica Lee
NILALC100507A4 - Erewash election. Conservative winner Jessica Lee

There have been many chances to take part in events and exhibitions which are marking the 100 year anniversary of the start of WW1.

This month, I had the honour of visiting our war graves in Park Cemetery, Ilkeston.

I was invited by the excellent Stephen Stapleton, the regional supervisor for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

I have visited the cemetery before, to see and support the work done by the volunteers of the Friends of Park Road Cemetery, but had never noticed how many of the graves were war graves.

The work the friends do, certainly makes life easier for the War Graves Commission who commemorate our fallen servicemen, by maintaining their graves.

We all know of the cemeteries and memorial monuments overseas such as the Menin Gate in Belgium, and many authorities set aside land during both wars for those repatriated to be remembered. Further to this, families made their own arrangements for burial and it is these that we see, with pride, intermittently positioned in the cemetery.

This year the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal is launched on 30th October.

As ever, I will be joining them on the high street to collect as much as possible for this excellent cause.

I hope to see you out there. If I can get out of the House of Commons for an hour, I will make my way down to the Tower of London to see the many thousands of ceramic poppies now planted all around.

The poppies have been made by a company in Derby so I think it’s important to see this fitting tribute to the fallen for the First World War with a local connection.

Another significant anniversary coming up is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Now I love telling the story of the Magna Carta story and am very proud that this was produced in England.

The lawyer in me, is thrilled that this has underpinned the constitutions of many pieces of legislation around the world, and it all came from King John’s over taxation and poor treatment of the barons.

Now, this was just the first step, and wouldn’t have affected you or me.

However, the history of what happened is significant because this was the first time that a King, a lone ruler, had to adhere to written limitations of his power: he had to listen to other people. This is an 800 year story, which has much to say, so I have decided to do a Roadshow to schools in Erewash to tell our young people how our democracy developed.

The anniversary of the Magna Carta, signed by King John at Runnymede almost 800 years ago, is the perfect opportunity.

Our local business enterprise organisation, the Erewash Partnership is 20 years old this year and is hosting an evening event to mark the occasion.

If you would like to see me at one of my weekly surgeries, please make an appointment on 0115 9722419 or email