Elise’s dancers putting on a show for Wick memorial garden

Elise’s dancers putting on a show for Wick memorial garden

HIGHLAND dancers are to perform at a fundraising event in Wick’s World War II memorial garden this Saturday.

It is being organised by the Elise Lyall School of Dance in aid of the community group that created the garden in Bank Row and is responsible for maintaining it.

There will also be stalls, refreshments and a display of photographs showing various stages in the development of the garden.

Although it will be a day of fun and entertainment, it will also be an occasion for remembrance as July 1 is the anniversary of the bombing of Bank Row in 1940 when 15 people were killed.

Three others lost their lives in an air raid at Hill Avenue in October the same year, and the memorial garden commemorates all 18 victims.

Ten of those who died in the two attacks were children, ranging in age from four to 16.

Elise’s successful dance school is located just around the corner from Bank Row in Lower Dunbar Street.

The event will run from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Dancing will take place in the garden itself, with stalls set up alongside the wall in Bank Row.

There will be baking and bottle stalls, a raffle and face-painting, while tea, coffee and fresh pancakes will be on sale.

Eighteen of Elise’s dancers will be bearing flowers as a tribute to each of those who died.

“We’re hoping to have as many dancers involved as possible,” Elise said. “The parents and others have been very generous in giving plenty of contributions for the various stalls.”

Yvonne Hendry, secretary of the memorial garden group, Second World War Air Raid Victims – Wick, said: “We were delighted when Elise offered to arrange this event, with the help of parents from the dance school, on what will be the 77th anniversary of the Bank Row bombing.

“It’s a lovely gesture by Elise. I’m sure the families who were affected by both those tragedies in 1940 would be pleased to see the garden full of life and colour and young people, as well as being a focal point for remembrance.

“I hope the weather is kind and as many folk as possible can come along to be entertained by the dancers, have a cup of tea or coffee and a freshly made pancake, look at some of our photos and spend some money on the stalls.”

Toilet facilities will be available on the day.

If the weather is bad, the event will still go ahead but will take place indoors at the nearby Wick Youth Club.

The memorial garden was officially opened in 2010, having lain derelict for many years after the war. Planting and general maintenance is carried out by a small team of volunteers.