I thought I should respond to the letter by Ms Burke in this page on 1 Nov Event was a 'damp squib' with regards to the Poppy on the Beach event.

Firstly, and probably of least importance, the comment that I arrived 'for a quick photo', is not true. I arrived at around 10:00 in good time to get onto the beach for 10:30 and was one of the last people off of the beach. At the event I spoke to a lot of people, many were local, many came from out of town but more to the point many were veterans, both young and elderly who took their time to share their war time experiences with me.

The lady I was helping from the beach in the Echo photo is an old friend of my husband who we had not expected to meet there. She hadn't been onto the beach in years and was helped onto it by volunteers so she could take part in the event. She was thrilled to be there. My husband and I, with the help of one of our local ministers, helped her when she was leaving the beach. She is from Weymouth and an ATS veteran. After the event we ran her home in our car as she had no transport.

More importantly however, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the British Legion for putting on this event on behalf of the Borough and to thank all of the volunteers involved. These people are all volunteers who give their time freely and generously for our community. They do not do this expecting thanks but deserve praise and support for the events they put on, not criticism. The British Legion put this event on to launch the Poppy Appeal in this very significant year and as such I wholeheartedly support them.

Cllr Gill Taylor

Mayor of Weymouth and Portland