Grantham Guildhall lights to go out as part of First World War commemorations

The Guildhall in Grantham.
The Guildhall in Grantham.
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The lights at the Guildhall in Grantham will be turned off tonight as part of the nationwide commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War 100 years ago.

People are asked to turn most lights out from 10pm to 11pm and leave a single light or candle illuminated for a shared moment of reflection to mark the centenary of the outbreak of war in the UK.

One light will be left on in South Kesteven District Council’s Witham Room, visible from St Peter’s Hill.

The project is being organised by 14-18 NOW, the official cultural programme for the First World War Centenary Commemorations.

The inspiration for LIGHTS OUT comes from a famous remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”. Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm on August 4 1914 ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history.

Thousands of iconic buildings, landmarks and institutions across the UK are pledging their support and turning their lights off at 10pm. These include Blackpool Illuminations, the Houses of Parliament, the Tate, Eden Project, the Imperial War Museums, Wales Millennium Centre, Tower Bridge, Durham Cathedral, Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Old Trafford, Lincoln Castle and the National History Museum. Across the City of London a number of buildings and offices will go dark, including Bloomberg’s European headquarters and St Pauls’ Cathedral.

A BBC Late Night Prom will include a posthumous premiere from the late John Tavener, and the audience at the Royal Albert Hall will be invited to participate in LIGHTS OUT at the end of the performance. The Royal British Legion is supporting LIGHTS OUT and has launched a campaign for at least one million candles to be lit across the UK.