The Ripon Community Poppy Project is run by local resident Stuart Martin. The project aims to create a display of beautiful knitted or crocheted poppies to honour fallen soldiers on Remembrance Sunday this year in Ripon. They are planning to have the displays in place two weeks prior to Remembrance Sunday and a week to ten days afterwards. This huge memorial project is something that the city is already getting behind, with several community members knitting poppies and donating materials.
The project aims to create an avenue of poppies from The Spa Gardens to the Cathedral by covering the metal railings along the route with the knitted poppies. Within the Spa Gardens they are planning to cover the main gates and the band stand with poppies and have boards of poppies dotted around the gardens. The group is currently in the process of seeking permission to put poppies in front of the Spa Baths and cascading down the front of Ripon Town Hall and, if the Dean agrees they would also like a display outside Ripon Cathedral.
There will be the opportunity for local businesses to become involved and create a poppy display in their shop windows as well as sponsoring larger poppies (dinner plate size) ordered from the Royal British Legion that will be displayed on the lamp posts around the City. However, sponsorship for a poppy doesn’t have to just come from businesses, community residents may, if they like, contribute too. Stuart is currently working on plans to include the names of the fallen from the war memorial and people could have the name of a family member who has fallen in one of the conflicts on a poppy if they chose to. All money from these poppies will go to the Royal British Legion poppy appeal.
The Ripon Community Poppy Project is appealing to the community to become involved, so far they have had offers of help from some local schools, care homes and individuals. An offer of help even came from someone in Gloucestershire. One thing is certain, to achieve these plans they will certainly need a lot of poppies to be knitted or crocheted. In Thirsk they used over 32,000 when they did a similar project in 2016. Whilst this project will be in Ripon they would welcome support from schools, families and communities from further afield.
There are lots of ways to get involved. They need people who can knit or crochet the poppies and people who can sew poppies onto the netting. They are seeking donations of red wool of any shade. If you have any camouflage netting or dark coloured fruit netting, the sort used in gardens, and would like to donate please get in touch. Volunteers will be needed to help nearer the time to put everything in place and then take it down afterwards.
Anyone who would like more information or is able to help in any way can contact Stuart on either 07811 390448 or firstname.lastname@example.org