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Fladbury to 'flow' with poppies for Remembrance

Published: 1st November 2021

knitted poppiesTo mark this year’s Remembrance Day and to commemorate 100 years of the Royal British Legion, there will be a river of poppies outside Fladbury Church and CE Primary School during November. ‘Fladbury Flow’ has involved people from the village and beyond, with over 3,800 knitted and crocheted poppies due to be displayed along the church wall in the centre of Fladbury.

The idea came from two neighbours, Angela Fowler and Elaine Stevens. Angela said: “We wanted to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and honour all those from our village who served their country in the World Wars. We thought it could be a fundraiser but were also keen for it to be something that was affordable and which anyone could join in with!”

The two ladies sourced some sponsorship to be able to create ‘poppy kits’, which included colourfast yarn and a pattern for either crocheting or knitting the poppies. The kits were given out for a minimum donation of £1, which went straight into the RBL collection tin. To make it as inclusive as possible, members of the Fladbury Knitting and Crochet Group along with a few others were recruited as tutors. There were sessions for people to come along to learn how to make the poppies and some people met individually to work through the patterns together.people knitting poppies together

“It was important to us to involve those who wanted to join in, but didn’t know how to knit or crochet,” said Angela. “With people passing on their skills to others, it meant that anyone could have a go at creating at least one poppy! The fantastic thing was that it has really got people talking about their family history and stories from the wars. It’s connected people throughout the village, which has been brilliant as we emerge from the pandemic.”

The original aim was to collect 2,340 poppies – 10 for each person from the village who served in the wars. However, many more have been produced and they still continue to come in, with people asking for kits from as far away as Nottingham and Eastbourne. There have been nearly 150 poppy makers in all. Fladbury CE Primary have been involved, by making some poppies and also doing their own craft project – their poppies will be displayed on the school gates. Some beautiful Rocks of Remembrance have also been created in support of the Fladbury Flow.Rocks painted with poppies

The Fladbury Flow of poppies will be unveiled on Saturday 6 November, in a special ceremony outside the church. The combined Cadet forces will be present, along with a Standard Bearer and bugler and a 101 year old veteran, Harold Wilson. He will be accompanied by a representative from the Western Front Association to give talks, storytelling and lead a question and answer session. Music will be provided by Mark Blackwell who will play the Royal British Legion March, RAF march past along with a selection of songs and melodies from WW1 and WW2.

The poppies will be on display until 21 November along with an exhibition in church telling the stories of some of the people from the village who served in the wars. At the end of November, all the poppies will be carefully taken down and laundered. Some will be turned into blankets or adornments to hats and sold on, and some will be given to the RBL who have a team which reuses knitted and crocheted poppies.

Someone knitting a poppyAngela continued: “What started out as a small idea has grown much bigger than I ever could have imagined and has helped bring the village together. It doesn’t matter if people have knitted a couple of hundred poppies, or just one; each poppy is like a prayer. The whole project has been a remarkable testament to keeping memories alive, passing on history and honouring our service people.”

Paying tribute to the initiative of Angela and Elaine and their joint leadership, the Revd Sarah Dangerfield, parish priest of Fladbury in the Five Alive Parish said: “The response of people to The Fladbury Flow has been phenomenal. So many people have been helped by doing things together, and by sharing stories; and with it a yet further insight into the enormous sacrifices made by men and women to further freedom and peace.”

See the Fladbury Flow poppies from 6 to 21 November. The unveiling ceremony will take place at 2pm at St John the Baptist Church on Saturday 6 November. Find more information and support the project on the Fladbury Flow Facebook page.

Page last updated: Monday 1st November 2021 2:19 PM

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