Bikers descend on Shoreham Fort for Lights Out event

MP Tim Loughton and Gary Baines at the jubilee lighting of the beacon at Shoreham Fort
MP Tim Loughton and Gary Baines at the jubilee lighting of the beacon at Shoreham Fort

SHOREHAM Fort is joining forces with the Royal British Legion Riders Branch to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Motorcycles from the Adur and Arun districts are set to converge on the 19th century fort, at the eastern end of Shoreham Beach, to stage a Biker’s Beacon on Monday.

The event is part of the legion’s Lights Out campaign, which encourages people across Britain and overseas to turn off their lights between 10pm and 11pm on Monday, leaving only a single light or candle as a symbolic act of reflection and hope.

The bikers will be shining their headlights towards Oxen Field, the site of the First World War barracks and training trenches on the South Downs north of Mill Lane, Shoreham, and Buckingham Park, where a further tented army camp was set up.

At 10pm, the headlights will be turned off and the Friends of Shoreham Fort light the Queen’s Jubilee Beacon, to represent a single candle being lit.

A short service will follow, with time for reflection, accompanied by music from renowned Shoreham guitarist Richard Durrant. The beacon will then be extinguished at 11pm.

People are invited to gather at the fort, off Fort Haven, from 8.30pm, when local band, 168 No Sleep will perform and Food For Fort will be open for refreshments.

The riders branch will be collecting donations for the Poppy Appeal throughout the evening.

Sussex representative Martin Johnson said: “Shoreham played a significant role during the First World War and Sussex still has strong connections with all the armed services.

“These strong connections are reflected in our members, some of whom have served, some of whom have family who are currently serving and some of whom just want to ride to support the Poppy Appeal and the work of the Royal British Legion.”

Gary Baines, chairman of the Friends of Shoreham Fort, said it was a great honour to have the riders on site for the centenary event and he was thrilled to have been approached to host the Biker’s Beacon.

“Shining the lights up to Buckingham Camp seems very fitting, as so many men from there travelled to France in World War One, many never to return.”

Visit Shoreham Fort for more information.