Lights Out

21 July 2014

To mark the Centenary of the start of World War I, a special ceremony will take place in the Flag Market on Monday 4 August to commemorate this special and important moment in time.

LIGHTS OUT events are taking place in towns and cities across the UK with an invitation for everyone to turn off their lights between 10.00pm and 11.00pm leaving a single light or candle on for a shared moment of reflection.

All exterior lights will be turned out on council buildings surrounding the Flag Market, including the street lamps, with one porch light left on at the back door of the Town Hall as a mark of respect.

At 11.00pm on 4 August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany, ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history. As the moment approached, the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, made the famous remark:

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

The inspiration for LIGHTS OUT came from this famous remark and millions of people are expected to participate, alongside hundreds of local authorities, iconic buildings, parish councils and places of worship, along with national organisations including the BBC and the Royal British Legion who have already pledged their support. Iconic buildings and landmarks such as Blackpool Illuminations, the Houses of Parliament, Eden Project, the Imperial War Museums and Tower Bridge will be turning off their lights.

Mayor of Preston, Councillor Nick Pomfret, said:

“This is a momentous juncture of our time and one that has contributed to the way we live our lives today. It is very important we remember these occasions as a city and nation and of those who fought for us.”   

A choreographed candlelit vigil will be centred against the backdrop of the newly refurbished Cenotaph, followed by World War I readings of letters and poetry. Almost 2,000 candles will feature, each one representing a soldier named on the Roll of Honour for the First World War.  

If you would like to take part in the candlelit vigil, volunteer participants from all sections of the community are sought to come together and mark this special moment in time. More information can be found at


Media enquiries: Rebecca Fitton, City Marketing and Development Assistant, 01772 906716.

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