Outdoor Poppies from the Poppy Plea

Back in the summer we were contacted by Scout Leaders involved in the big NORJAM event.  One of the activities the Scouts could take part in was poppy making – they recycled their drink bottles into wonderful outdoor poppies. After NORJAM they kindly donated the poppies to our appeal – these have been distributed to some of the county’s library gardens and we have just been sent these images.

The garden at Yarmouth has also has just won a Gold Award and been named the overall winner in the community group for the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston in Bloom, 2018.  We are very pleased that they’ve found room for our poppies in their award winning grounds.

NORJAM poppies in Martham Library garden

 

NORJAM poppies in Great Yarmouth Community Garden

 

NORJAM poppies in Great Yarmouth Community Garden

 

NORJAM poppies in Great Yarmouth Community Garden

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Commemorating the First World War in Outwell, Norfolk

Dr Charles Nelson, Membership Secretary, Friends of St Clement’s Church, Outwell has been in touch to tell us of a wonderful event held at the church and how to still see some of the work involved.

A spectacular cascade of scarlet, red and  crimson poppies – knitted, crocheted, sewn or needle-felted by members of Welle Women’s Institute and St Clement’s Coffee Shoppers, particularly Elaine Allison, Rebecca Broda, Victoria Brown, Helen Crittle, Sally Harman, Edna Hollands, Margaret Lake, Liz Robson, Ruth Saunders and Linda Shinkin – was “unveiled” on Friday last, 5 October 2018, at St Clement’s Church, Outwell. The cascade of poppies, stitched onto white camouflage webbing, falls from the summit of the staircase in the South Aisle of St Clement’s, and is part of the parish’s commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War. The cascade will remain in place until mid-November.
 
The “unveiling” occurred at a very successful concert given by the Upwell Gilbert and Sullivan Choral Society, also a tribute to mark the anniversary.
 
The cascade can be viewed by visitors during the normal Sunday service in St Clement’s, and on Tuesdays when the St Clement’s Coffee Shop is open. [Coffee, tea and cakes are served as well as delicious soup and light lunches. The proceeds from the Coffee Shop go to help keep St Clement’s open for worship.]
 
Other projects currently being supported by the Friends of St Clement’s Church include restoration of some of the antique furniture, including two massive wooden trunks and a fine Jacobean communion table, work funded also by a grant from the Leche Trust. The stabilising and protecting of the splendid mediaeval painted glass, especially that dating from 1420–1440 in the tracery of east window of the Beaupré Chapel in St Clement’s, is also a current project, assisted by the Glaziers Trust.
We thank Dr Nelson for sharing this with us, and also Mr Ashby for taking such lovely photos. If you attended the concert, or you have other WW1 commemoration projects happening, please do let us know.

World War One events and projects around the county

Twitter has been putting us in touch with so many people around the county (and indeed the country and the world) and we love hearing all about other projects taking place to commemorate the end of World War One. 

This update from the Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community is wonderful.

Sprowston is hosting several events in the town to commemorate WW1, and has asked local community groups, schools etc to be a part of this with the main events happening during November 2018. Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community and Dementia Cafe wanted to be a part of this exciting project. So we decided to produce a large piece of art work measuring 4’x3’, which would take the form of a landscape. At this point we really had no idea how this would work in actual life. During our August group we started to paint the canvas, to begin with it looked a bit daunting until a volunteer started to paint blue sky.

Then one of our ladies who is living with dementia is an artist and was happy to take the lead by initially trying to as she said “get rid of the white”. Others soon joined in, some were reluctant at first to get hold of the paint brushes, but the enthusiasm soon followed. As you can see from the pictures, soon the volunteer supervision became minimal. The ages that day ranged from 5 years old (Lexie, our youngest volunteer) up to 90, sometimes we had to make adjustments so that everyone could have a go! We even had a group of teenagers visiting us that day from the Sprowston Youth Engagement Group who were eager to have a go.

The next step is to make it appear 3D, for this we are going to make and attach poppies, knitted, felt or paper to the work, and in front of it, and we will be doing this during our September 20th café. We are hoping once again that everyone will be involved with either making poppies or by attaching them to the work.

Once finished we are hoping that it will be displayed as part of an exhibition of other works/projects during the November commemorations. We will then need to find a more permanent home for this unique piece of art that many people have gained so much from during its making.

We asked the group for some more information about themselves and we are ever more in awe of what they have achieved:

Our monthly dementia café has been running now for approximately two and a half years, we offer peer support and professional advice for those in the area who are experiencing memory problems, and their families/carers. At our café we try to offer a variety of activities such as low impact exercises, games, books, and plenty of volunteers on hand to help. We have also had visits from speakers, singers, and ponies! The carers are given the opportunity for discussion in a separate room if they wish. About 18 months ago Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community was founded by eight volunteers made up of Dementia Champions, Town Councillors, Hayley (our professional lead), church leaders and other interested people. As a group we are trying to raise awareness of dementia in the area, and to make Sprowston a safer more supportive community, we are now recognised by both the Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK as such, and we are a member of Broadland Dementia Action Alliance. More information can be found on our website and Facebook page Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community.

Here at the Norfolk in World War One team we can’t wait to see the finished project and thank everyone involved for sharing this story with us. 

A Hellesdon War Memorial Mystery

Our project to create a poppy for every name listed on the county’s war memorials has sparked a lot of interest and has also thrown up some interesting queries…

We’ve recently been talking on Twitter with Linda, a lady who has undertaken to create a poppy for all of the men listed on the Hellesdon War Memorial. More than this Linda is also researching the war history of all 15 men remembered there.

A recent image of Hellesdon War Memorial

Linda has made the fifteen poppies, and researched in to fourteen of the men but there is a real mystery surrounding the last man…

The soldier concerned is recorded on the memorial as William H Piercy but I can find no record of him in any records.

I have however found a William John Piercy who’s next of kin were living at Lower Hellesdon. 

I have been doing the research as part of the Hellesdon Community History Group and I’m stuck – could you forward this query on to anyone that can help guide me in the right direct to resolve this quandary.   

I think it is a transcription/typo error which I have had personal experience of within my own family.

We’ve done a little sleuthing by playing around with various spellings of the name and the initials on the Commonwealth War Graves website and found three possible men that could possibly be the man listed at Hellesdon.

Gunner W R Piercy #74009 whose parents are listed as living on Dereham Rd, Norwich

W J Piercy #43703 whose parents are listed as living in Eccles.

William Piercy #G/16306 but with no further details.

And this is where we call on your expertise – can anyone help Linda, as she says

His name would have been submitted to a “committee” for approval and I wonder where this would be and this record would have more information to help confirm his parents/date of birth etc. 

As ever if you can help with this query please leave a comment here / email norfolkinworldwar1@gmail.com or Tweet us @Norfolkinww1

An update on our poppy project

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has been making poppies from whatever material is to hand. With just six months to go until the Armistice 100 Commemorations we thought you’d like an up date of how the poppy appeal is progressing and where you’ll be able to see the poppies.

For reasons of space and storage the main focus has been on working on how to display the felt, knitted and crochet poppies. As of the 5th May we have received about 3700. These are being put on to fabric tape ready to be displayed like bunting.

Small display of woolen poppies

People are also being very creative with paper, crepe paper and even cupcake cases and we have over 600 of these too.

The mathematically inclined will have already worked out that this gives us a total of 4,300 poppies so we have quite a way to go to reach our target of 15,500!

If anyone has some spare time/wool/paper please could you consider making a few to help us out.  We are planning to hold simple poppy craft sessions in libraries on Norfolk Day (27th July) more details on here very soon.

As for displaying the finished poppies…all of Norfolk’s 47 branches will be taking a number of them to display, as will the mobile libraries.  Larger libraries will have slightly larger displays and King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and the Millennium Library will have huge displays representing the large number of fallen commemorated in these locations.

Thank you for your help so far, sample patterns can be found here – but please don’t feel these are the only way to make the poppies.

Inspired by our poppy plea

We’ve just received this lovely letter from Alex in Sheringham

I work as a Library & Information Assistant at Sheringham Library. In June 2017, a poster arrived for display in the Library asking people to make poppies for the Norfolk in WW1 Project.

My grandad had lost his father and his brother in this war, so I decided to make a few poppies. 300 crochet’d poppies later, I turned my attention to Sheringham, where I have lived for 17 years.

Sheringham & Beeston Regis lost 75 men in WW1 and Upper Sheringham lost 8.

I crochet’d 83 poppies and with the help of the Imperial War Museum, the Royal British Legion and Roll of Honour.com. I was able to individually dedicate each poppy with the “fallen” man’s name, typed onto a label and threaded through the poppy.

The poppies have been framed and are on permanent display in Sheringham Library.

Alex’s 300+ poppies have already been strung together ready for display in the autumn, but do pop into Sheringham Library to see these wonderful, named poppies.

2018 Poppy Project Update

For various reasons there have been fewer posts going out on the blog over the last few months and we hope that is about to change and that we’ll be sharing more stories with you very soon.

In the meantime we’d like to say a huge

to everyone around the county who has been making and sending us poppies.

Behind the scenes we have been working on these and are starting to work out how they can be best displayed in the libraries around the county in November 2018.

Here are just a few (2215 to be precise) of the knitted poppies mounted on to bunting tape ready for display:

We also have lots of beautiful felt, plastic and paper poppies still to mount but this is an ongoing project and if you feel at all crafty please do swamp us with more – full details can be found here.