To Woolwich in South London to meet with friends and commemorate the 8th anniversary of the jihad murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in a street near his barracks. Last year, under pandemic regulations local residents laid flowers individually over the course of the few days around the anniversary. This year more people could and did gather but it was quieter than in previous years.
The council have permitted a tree on a grassy mound about 20 yards from the spot where he died. Leaving flowers and tributes at the exact spot is discouraged to the point of being forbidden.
Men were already gathering as I made my way back to Woolwich town centre to meet my friends.
A group of men from March for England, supporters of Portsmouth Football club (Pompey) had travelled from Hampshire. Wreaths had already been laid earlier by supporters of Millwall FC. We got a police escort from our meeting point to the corner of Wellington Street and John Wilson Street.
Flowers and more wreaths were laid.
The police closed the road to traffic while a short speech was made, followed by a minutes silence.
Then we went to look more closely at the flowers and wreaths and greet friends that we have not seen for well over a year. It was all very decently done, and organised by like-minded people, of their own volition.
Then back to the town centre for some refreshment. From this week we are allowed to purchase food and drink for consumption on the inside part of the premises.
Today was also the 4th anniversary of the jihad murder bomb atrocity at the Manchester Arena when 22 people, mostly little girls and young women were killed as they attended a pop concert. In Manchester there was a service at the Cathedral, and the cathedral bells and those of nearby St Anne’s church tolled for every person who died. The Manchester Evening News reports that work on the permanent memorial, the Glade of Light, is progressing well for next year.
Photographs E Weatherwax London 2021