Field of Knitted Poppies to be displayed on Victoria Park

There’s been a strange sound around Ilkeston recently – the sound of knitting needles and crochet hooks working overtime.

It’s all to do with a charity project – commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War – the aim being to create a field of knitted poppies, with thousands of them being displayed on Victoria Park before being sold to support the Royal British Legion.

Led by project organiser, Rachael Spence, local community groups, schools and other willing volunteers have all contributed by taking part and making poppies. The initial idea came about at a meeting of the Friends of Victoria Park, where it was suggested that something could be done to commemorate the centenary in the Park; but since then it has grown into something much bigger, as Rachael commented:

“So far, the response to the project has simply been astonishing. The willingness of people to take part and contribute their time and effort has been staggering and it’s encouraged people who haven’t done any sort of knitting or crafting for years to get their needles out! As well as those living locally, and further afield in the UK, we’ve had people from places such as Italy, Spain and Australia taking part; all of them united by their desire to support such a worthwhile cause. Although the project has become bigger and more demanding than we first envisaged, it’s been a pleasure to be part of it all and, personally, I can’t wait to see the final display – and to share our efforts with the local community – which will be a fantastic showcase for all the hard work that’s been put in by everyone involved.”

People can see a small display of some of the poppies created so far at Erewash Museum but the final display, which is estimated to include 4,000 poppies, will take place on Victoria Park, on Saturday 27th October between 10:00am – 3:00pm. Led by a standard bearer from Ilkeston British Legion and supported by the local TA and Air Cadets, there will be poetry readings, a visit by the Deputy Mayor and a bugler to play the Last Post. As well as being the one and only opportunity to view the full poppy display, it will also be a chance for people to buy a poppy – for £2.00 – with all proceeds going to the British Legion.

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