Poppy tribute unveiled ahead of WWI commemorations
Posted on 9 Nov 2018
A dedicated group of friends have created a stunning tribute to those who have lost their life in war – a dramatic poppy cascade featuring more than 4,000 hand-knitted flowers.
As North Ayrshire joins the rest of the UK in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War on Sunday, 11 November, the colourful poppy cascade has gone on display at the spiral staircase at Irvine Townhouse.
It has been a labour of love for the group of friends from Dreghorn Library’s Friday knitting club, called 'In Stitches Sharing Yarns', who were the driving force behind the creation.
The idea came from member Jean Hudson and, after appeals went out on social media in August, the hard work started.
Alongside other members of the club, they spent countless hours knitting and crocheting poppies of all sizes.
Jean said: “I had seen something similar so suggested this might be a good project for the group to get involved in
“For the past few months, we have been knitting poppies constantly.”
The initial target was to gather 2,018 knitted poppies but as contributions started to come in from across North Ayrshire and even further afield, the figure doubled and the final cascade features 4,018 poppies.
Lesley Forsyth, Cultural Development Manager at North Ayrshire Council, said: “Everyone involved was amazed at the response both locally and from across Scotland as people arrived at the library with poppies. It’s been a humbling experience for all involved.”
As well as the traditional red poppies, the cascade also features white poppies, which represent remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war, and purple poppies, to remember the millions of animals killed in war.
With help from Heather Angus at Dreghorn Library, the cascade started to come together and support was also drafted in from Mr and Mrs Wilson of the Ancient Society of Kilwinning Archers to ensure the poppies could be safely assembled on to a supporting net.
Provost Clarkson said: “It’s an amazing tribute and I applaud the ladies for the tremendous amount of work they put in.
“The poppy cascade is beautiful and I know that everyone who sees it will be moved by the amount of care and attention which has gone in to producing this wonderful creation.”
The group involved in knitting the poppies included Jean Hudson, Meta Diffin, Margaret Blane, Marion Bain, Mary McBlane, Betty Young, Marlynn Lowe, Karen Mitchell, Aileen Hutchison, Linda Haswell, Lynn Logan, Meg McWilliams, Helen Donaldson, Effie Kerr, Anne Mackie and Mary Weir.
Following on from the Remembrance Day commemorations, the cascade will visit different locations throughout North Ayrshire. Watch out for the photos on social media by following @NacHeritage on Twitter and North Ayrshire Heritage and Cultural Services on Facebook.
The cascade will end its tour in the North Ayrshire Heritage Centre, Saltcoats, where it will be on display from 24-28 November.