Customers at Sutton’s Idelwells Shopping Centre mark First World War anniversary

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Young and old shoppers have shown their support to the Idlewells Shopping Centre’s Great War commemorations.

Visitors to the Sutton shopping were invited to paint a poppy, write a message or stick on a poppy, in memory of those affected by war, to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Idlewells’ resident artist, Bob Lee, painted the beautiful Flanders Fields backdrop onto both canvases, which stand eight feet wide by four feet high.

Bob helped young and old to get involved across the week – in whatever way they wanted to.

Tributes on the canvases include messages to those who have given their lives, simple thank you messages, song lyrics and poems.

Donations were collected across the six days and added to the Kirkby Royal British Legion’s 4th August collection in the centre, and money raised by Idlewells specialist cake store Cake Fusion for the sale of its donation of 50 poppy cup cakes.

Well over £500 was raised in total, and the Idlewells team is delighted with the resulting colourful commemorative canvases that attract a lot of attention whilst on display.

“We are always pleased to help the British Legion to raise funds – and the finished paintings are amazing,” said Chloe O’Donnell, Assistant Manager of Idlewells.

“Visitors of all ages seemed to really enjoy painting a poppy as well as watching others paint – especially the toddlers.”

The canvases will be loaned to community display areas on occasions, and then permanently housed in the Idlewells Centre.

Pictured: Kirkby British Legion’s Pete and Lilly collect donations raised by Bob Lee of Can Paint Will Paint and the Idlewells Shopping Centre.