On behalf of the Upper Thames Military Re-enactment Society (UTMRS) who portray the Royal Scots Light Company of 1814, I would like to express our deepest thanks to the community of Southwest Middlesex for their excellent support and co-operation during our recent War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration of the Battle of Longwoods from March 4-9. The Southwest Middlesex Municipal Council and Staff assisted us in much of the minutiae of organizing an event which meant the closing down of the Longwoods Road, erecting a monument, erecting a tent as well as arranging the billeting of numerous re-enactors.
The Creative Communities Committee did a wonderful job of arranging for a Dinner and Reception at the Glencoe Agricultural Hall on the Saturday, March 8. This same organization decorated the windows of the Glencoe merchants, and with the co-operation of the Southwest Middlesex Council, Staff and Community decorated with large bows the hydro poles of Melbourne, Appin, Glencoe and Wardsville to commemorate the Bicentennial Event.
The entire week showed wonderful community spirit with a brunch provided by the Newbury Fire Services at the Newbury Fire Hall on Saturday morning. The billeting of the re-enactors at the Masonic Hall in Wardsville and the Glencoe Arena on Friday and Saturday nights was kindly arranged by the Staff of Southwest Middlesex. Wardsville United Church provided through the efforts of Todd Trojand a pancake supper Tuesday, March 4, breakfast and lunch on Sunday, March 9.
The Southwest Middlesex Fire Department including the Wardsville Fire Department and the Glencoe Fire Department assisted with the Glencoe Lions Club did yeoman service on a cold winter’s day in parking well over 200 cars on the shoulders of the Longwoods Road. Tom McCollum and John McColl deserve special recognition for their efforts to flawlessly handle this important task.
It is important to recognize the assistance of Dave Little and helpers who guided traffic, spectators (and yes, re-enactors) at the Battle Hill site with extreme efficiency and co-operation.
The memorial service held on Tuesday, March 4, (the actual time of the original Battle of Longwoods) was organized and conducted by Reverend Richard Golden and Betty Simpson of the Glencoe and District Historical Society.
The old Community Hall in Wardsville, now the home of Crocodile Productions, was the scene of an excellent variety show called, The Royal Bash, on Friday night, March 7.
Another feature of the week was the excellent coverage by the daily and weekly newspapers of the local communities. From a series of articles about the background of the Battle of Longwoods to coverage of related activities it was an amazing effort on the part of these periodicals to alert and inform the public.
The comment I remember most was from one of our re-enactors who had travelled from Toronto to be at the event. He commented in wonderment how such a large Commemoration Event as the Battle of Longwoods could have been carried off in the middle of nowhere with such a large audience, military servicemen and re-enactors so smoothly and without a hitch. The answer is the wonderful co-operation of the Southwest Middlesex Community. Thank you so very much for making the week a wonderful Bicentennial event!
Glenn Stott, Chair
UTMRS Bicentennial Committee.