A BRIGHT red sea of poppies will cascade down the side of Tamworth Castle as part of extra special Remembrance Day celebrations taking place to mark 100 years since the end of World War 1.
Thousands of poppies created out of used plastic bottles will be attached to a net and dropped from the parapet wall of the Castle and down the motte in a waterfall of colour to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by men and women fighting for their country a century ago.
The ambitious community project is a joint effort between Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, Tamworth Castle and members of Tamworth Ladymeadow WI, who have taken on the immense challenge of creating at least 4,000 poppies.
The women’s institute group have been calling on the help of various community groups and organisations in the town, including Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from Girlguiding Tamworth, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in the town, as well as Cubs and Scouts. As a result, the WI are already halfway towards the 4,000 total.
A base of operations has now been set up in a unit in Ankerside Shopping Centre where WI members will spend the next few weeks making more poppies and attaching them to a huge net in preparation of the We Will Remember 2018 event on Sunday, November 11.
There will be opportunities for members of the public to get involved and contribute towards the project, with the first open workshop sessions to take place as part of the council’s mammoth Art Attack day of creativity in the town centre on Saturday, October 6.
People are invited to pop along to unit 40B, which is on the ramp in Ankerside opposite Vodafone, at any time between 10am and 4pm. Just take some standard transparent 500ml plastic water bottles with you and the team will show you how to transform them into poppies for the display.
The WI will be joined in the unit by members of the Royal British Legion over the coming weeks, who will be using the opportunity to raise awareness of the work they do to support members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.
This year’s Remembrance Day commemorations will see the traditional parade finishing in the Castle Grounds in front of the poppy cascade. A number of Tamworth choirs will join together to greet the parade with the sounds of Land of Hope and Glory in what is set to be a truly poignant spectacle.
The 2018 parade is expected to head off from Ladybridge at around 10.45am, making its way to a service at St Editha’s Church and then continuing to the Castle Grounds for around 12.20pm, but all timings will be confirmed nearer the time.
Tamworth Ladymeadow WI have received funding from Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts Grants Scheme to help with the ‘poppyfying’.
We Will Remember 2018 will mark the end of four years of special events which have been held in Tamworth to commemorate each year of the First World War. These included the Flags of Freedom arts project, I am Heroes – which saw a new stained glass window designed by local schoolchildren being installed in Tamworth Library – and the We Will Remember memorial concert which included the specially-commissioned piece of music ‘War Child’.
Cllr John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “The planned poppy cascade should be a truly stunning tribute to the servicemen and women who died serving their country all those years ago and will bring an end to four years of tributes, marking 100 years since World War I. Thanks must go to members of the Tamworth Ladymeadow WI who are working so hard to get these poppies completed in time, supported of course by Tamworth people of all ages. It’s a great project and I’d encourage anyone who wants to be a part of it to get involved.”
Anyone who would like to donate plastic bottles or help make poppies, can contact Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team via email at TARartsdevelopment@tamworth.gov.ukor call 01827 709314.