Westcliff Poppy Trail – Royal British Legion

Westcliff Poppy Trail – Royal British Legion

**NEW EVENT** Coming to the Hamlet Court Road from 25th October to 14th November!

This year, Age Concern Southend-on-Sea and The Haven Community Hub will join together with local traders and community groups to create their own Westcliff Poppy Trail in the Hamlet Court Road, to support 100 years of the Royal British Legion.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED:

You can secure a wooden poppy in either 4ft or 2ft size to decorate and display in your own window on Hamlet Court Road or as part of a larger display at The Haven Community Hub.

We have a limited supply of poppies available, so please get in quick – these will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

We are asking for a donation of £25 for a large poppy and £15 for a small one. 

All proceeds raised from the purchase of these poppies will go to the Royal British Legion.

You can decorate the poppy how you wish – an opportunity to get creative and create a real buzz around the display.

WHAT AGE CONCERN/THE HAVEN HUB ARE DOING:

We are organising this event for the community, for the benefit of the community and to help raise funds for a good cause. We are not making any profit from this event and instead see this as an opportunity to showcase our road, raise our profile and showcase what we all do. We hope you will support this event and help bring it to life.

For our own display of poppies at the Hub, we are working with a local artist, asking members of our Day Centre to decorate one along with charity and community groups we work closely with.

If you are a local charity or community group who wants to get involved but are unable to display a poppy in your window on Hamlet Court Road, please get in touch.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE:

People are encouraged to visit the display and take a photo with the amazing poppies. They can then enter our competition to win a prize.

Take your photo in front of any of the poppies,
Tag @TheHavenCommunityHub and use the hashtag #westcliffpoppies
Like our FB page and share our post
3 amazing prizes to win  1) A pair of Panto tickets for the Cliffs Pavilion
2) A voucher for 2 afternoon teas at Pebbles Café
3) A voucher to attend 2 of our own classes at The Hub

If you would like to donate a prize to the cause please get in touch. Please also help promote the trail on your own platforms or by printing our poster.

If you are interested in getting involved with the event, making a donation to secure a poppy to decorate, please contact Elizabeth.smith@acsos.co.uk

THE STORY OF THE POPPY

Poppies are worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces community.

The red poppy is a symbol of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future.

But what is the inspiration and history behind the poppy becoming a symbol of Remembrance?  

The Western Front

During WW1, much of the fighting took place in Western Europe. The countryside was blasted, bombed and fought over repeatedly. Previously beautiful landscapes turned to mud; bleak and barren scenes where little or nothing could grow.

Fields of Poppies

There was a notable and striking exception to the bleakness – the bright red Flanders poppies. These resilient flowers flourished in the middle of so much chaos and destruction, growing in the thousands upon thousands. In the Spring of 1915, a Canadian Doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was moved by the sight of these Poppies and that inspiration led him to write the now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”

“In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields”

The poem then inspired others to adopt the poppy in memory of those who had fallen in the war.

The Royal British Legion, which had been formed in 1921, ordered nine million poppies and sold them on 11 November that year.

The Poppies sold out almost immediately. The first Poppy Appeal raised over £106,000 to help Veterans with housing and jobs; a considerable sum at that time. Today’s Poppy Appeal has 40,000 Volunteers nationally distribute 40 million Poppies.

Jamie Langstone
JLangstone@savs-southend.co.uk