Thousands of hand-crafted poppies on display in Ramsbottom

A stunning display of almost 3,000 poppies has been set up in Ramsbottom.

The impressive collection of hand-crafted poppies is situated at the former Stubbins Congregational (United Reformed) Church graveyard and is hoped to raise money for a veterans charity.

Lavinia Tod looks after the graveyard, which is next to her home.

The Bolton News: Poppy carpet Poppy carpet (Image: Public)

Lavinia, a retired education team leader with Lancashire Museums’ Service, got the idea for the poppy garden after watching the Chelsea Flower Show.

After living in the area for more than 20 years she has raised thousands for various charities.

Lavinia chose to raise money for the Veterans In Communities (VIC) charity, based in Haslingden, which helps ex servicemen and blue light personnel return, belong and thrive in their communities after their service days are over.

Her art group and “ladies that lunch” organisation have been knitting and crocheting the poppies along with the Crafty Chatters at VIC, Weir Knit and Natter among others.

The flowers have been fastened to wooden battens to form a maze of paths leading the way into the churchyard where a beautiful poppy archway has been created.

A knitted poppy throw will also be on a bench along with a poppy cushion, a large cross with poppies on and jam jar tea lights, with poppy tops.

Admission to the display is free on Sunday, November 6 and Monday, November 14, from 1pm and there will be a special children’s trail and questions.

On the Sunday, mayor of Rossendale, Cllr Anne Cheetham, will lay a knitted wreath on the grave where RAF airman Bernard Hallsall is remembered. He was killed in action on July 17, 1941, aged 24.

Other servicemen are remembered on gravestones, while three veterans are interred in the churchyard.

Captain Richard Whitaker Porritt, of the famous Stubbins Porritts and who was a Lancashire Fusilier that was killed in the Second World War during the retreat of the British Expedition Force to Dunkirk.

Driver Harry Lord of the Royal Army Service Corps died aged 18 on August 28, 1917.

Royal Engineer Lieutenant Philip Edmondson Halstead died aged 23 on November 27, 1944 after an accident.

Knitted poppy wreaths will be placed on their graves.

Lavinia said: “I am pleased to be supporting a local charity that is working hard in my local area.

“I am very grateful to everyone who has got involved and helped.

“We have a guess how many poppies make up the dress to win a bottle of champagne and everyone is asked to wear red if they can on the day.

“As well as refreshments, we will be selling handmade poppy cards and also knitted poppies.”

The Bolton News: Lavinia TodLavinia Tod (Image: Public)

To help fundraise, friends and relations will be serving mulled wine and hot Vimto for £2 and a brew and a cake for £5 with proceeds benefiting VIC.


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