2018 Centenary of the end of WW1

Drinkstone Poppy display on the Centenary of end of WW1

Brenda Elphick found inspiration in the 2017 Walsham le Willows Remembrance display; she thought Drinkstone should do something similar for the Centenary. She started with the Tuesday Club drop-in; by late spring, she had around 50 people knitting poppies. She would call in wherever or whenever there was a meeting to find more knitters and sell them wool and a pattern, so much so that people started to avoid her! But word spread and soon people from outside the village were knitting too – and quite a number wanted to crochet.

But what to do with all the poppies? That is when Sue Medcalf came in with the vision of a waterfall of poppies from the church tower balcony, flowing down from a wreath of remembrance to the Cross which promises new life for those who have died.

November 7th was set for the sewing on of 5,000 poppies. Would it get done in a day? An impossible task, some thought. On that day, many were stitching poppies onto the waterfall netting, jostling to find space to sew; others were on their knees outside, stapling poppies into the ground to make a runway up to the church, fed by a team in the porch cutting up wires to use as staples. Christine Lambert was quietly creating beautiful displays elsewhere in the church; other members of the All Saints Flower team were filling windowsills. Not just ladies, gentlemen were involved too.

The waterfall was hoisted into place to gasps of amazement. Finishing off the fine details overran into Thursday, but all the efforts produced an amazing display. And there were enough poppies left to make panels for outside the Village Hall.

All the hard work was gratifying rewarded by a single remark. One viewer was so taken aback (and emotional!) that he remarked, “How did this little village produce this?” We know though – it was the community spirit that brought the village together in an amazing way. 

Brenda and Sue pass on their grateful thanks to  everyone who contributed poppies, whether by knitting or crocheting; to Christine Lambert and All Saints flower team, the 20+ people who helped put it all together in just over one day, those who hoisted the finished creation up to the balcony, and very importantly, made the coffee!

A member of Duncan Vere Webb’s family also asked for grateful thanks to be passed on the whole team. (Duncan died just a short while before this war ended.) This was truly a wonderful way of remembering the fallen, who sacrificed their lives that we might be free.

In case you were not aware, the scattering of purple poppies is to mark the many, many animals who have also died in service to man in war.

Selection of photos