Coldstream has been decorated with thousands of poppies in recent days in the run up to Remembrance Sunday, November 8.
As the home of the Coldstream Guards it’s unsurprising that it has taken the Honour Our Troops Poppy Project 2014-2018 to its heart during the centenary years of World War 1, and having started fairly low key in 2014, the aim is to build on the momentum so that by November 11, 2018, the town will have 111,111 (to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) on display.
The national Poppy Project is a crowd sourced art installation led by Honour Our Troops, empowering people to be as creative as possible over the next four years, whilst educating, raising funds for charity and remembering those that gave their all for our freedoms.
Help for Heroes organisers in Coldstream have been overwhelmed by the support they have received by local people and the town.
“Each year each display will grow in size to symbolise that more lives were lost and soldiers did not return home, explained organiser Annmarie McCall
“This is the educational aspect for younger generations.”
“Poppies must be of recycled and/or recyclable materials and displays are as creative as possible whilst still maintaining respectfulness.
“One of the aims is to encourage people to donate to Poppy Scotland, the Poppy Appeal and Animal Aid. (The donations in respect of the white poppies signifying peace is up to each individual). The poppy displays are predominantly red, with purple for the animals and white for peace.
“Poppy Scotland are aware of what we are doing and think its fantastic and are following us closely.
“So far we have poppies made out of the following; wool (knitting and crochet), sewn, embroidered, metal, plastic, carpet, old CDs, cardboard, wood, silk.”
Pride of place this year has to go to the town’s Market Square where a magnificent poppy horse stands proudly in the centre, surrounded by a sea of poppies on the trees, etc and most of the houses have poppies proudly displayed in their windows.
People can follow them on facebook: The Poppy Project 2014 - 2018 by Honour Our Troops. Already they are getting favourable comments posted on their timeline:
Jean Hindle Fantastic Project from Coldstream well done to all concerned xxx; Sue Rutherford Fabulous well done to everyone; Barbara Berkowitz Proud of Coldstream, we do a good job, looking forward to the build-up to 2018 100th anniversary big display.
“The Poppy Project can be done by anyone, any village, any town, any where,” said Annemarie. “From just lighting a candle and popping it into a poppy jar and leaving it on your doorstep or in your window to organising a poppy on each lampost on your street, through your village/town/city.
“Every display is relevant and next year just pop up two and watch them grow until 2018.”
As well as the town’s annual Remembrance Sunday service at the war memorial Honour Our Troops organise an Armistice Remembrance Candlelight vigil on November 11, at the war memorial, 5-7pm and will continue this through to 2018.