Kirkby 'made proud by fantastic' centenary poppy cascade

A cascade of poppies handcrafted by Kirkby residents has been draped onto the frontage of JD Wetherspoons's The Regent to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

More than seven thousand poppies were created from fabric and wool for the display on Diamond Avenue.

Brian Dykes, left, chairman of the Kirkby branch of the RBL, their vice-chairman Len Dooley, Claire Lilley from Artful Buttoner, veteran Richard Kirk and Jason Zadrozny the Leader of Ashfield District Council, with Annesley Primary School pupils, Charlie, Christian and Rajpreet, pictured after the unveiling of the cascade of poppies on The Regent Wetherspoon pub in Kirkby on Friday.

Brian Dykes, left, chairman of the Kirkby branch of the RBL, their vice-chairman Len Dooley, Claire Lilley from Artful Buttoner, veteran Richard Kirk and Jason Zadrozny the Leader of Ashfield District Council, with Annesley Primary School pupils, Charlie, Christian and Rajpreet, pictured after the unveiling of the cascade of poppies on The Regent Wetherspoon pub in Kirkby on Friday.

Knitting and crocheting began back in April by the Kirkby Craft Bombers at the Artful Buttoner shop, led by Claire Lilley.

Claire who owns the shop on Kingsway where workshops were held to make the poppies came up with the idea of the cascade when she was approached by Ashfield District Council.

The 45-year-old Church Street resident said: "We have done displays before but nothing this big.

"It is amazing and it is great that it is in the town centre so everyone can see it.

Residents join Rachel Sellars, second left, manager of The Regent, Ashfield District Council staff and officials and Royal British Legion members at the unveiling of the cascade of poppies in Kirkby on Friday.

Residents join Rachel Sellars, second left, manager of The Regent, Ashfield District Council staff and officials and Royal British Legion members at the unveiling of the cascade of poppies in Kirkby on Friday.

"It took thousands of hours by volunteers to make all of the poppies - one lady made over 1,000 poppies herself."

The craft group and community including Annesley Primary School pupils went above expectations and created nine thousand poppies in total.

Smaller displays are planned for the remainder of the poppies.

Marlene Clarkson, aged 62, from the Greenacres is a crochet teacher at the shop lead a group who made some of the poppies.

The poppies.

The poppies.

She said: "It is important to remember war and fallen soldiers - everyone has been affected by war.

"It is important for the next generation to know about what happened - it is important to keep it going."

The cascade of knitted and crocheted poppies was unveiled today (Friday, October 19) as a mark of respect to all who served during the First World War through to the

present day.

The celebration included WW1 music and a speech by Councillor Jason Zadrozny the Leader of Ashfield District Council.

Richard Kirk, aged 44, was one of the veterans who attended the opening said the display was "amazing".

The Kirkby Cross resident and former Royal Engineer said: "It's fantastic, I didn't quite know what to expect.

"You can tell that so much work has been put into it - they have made Kirkby proud."

Installations of Poppy lights and ‘Tommie’ silhouette figures are in place in town's in Ashfield and 'Lest we Forget' signs have been added to gateway signs and events were held to

celebrate Merchant Nay Day and The Armed Forces Day.

Coun Zadrozny said: “The Kirkby Poppy Project has provided an emotional community tribute as part of the centenary celebrations, and is credit

in particular, to Claire Lilley of the Artful Buttoner and the Kirkby Craft Bombers who have worked tirelessly over the last six months to make it happen.

“This is one of many projects the council has delivered as part of the centenary celebrations and demonstrates how communities can come together and create something that has a

real impact on Kirkby town centre. We hope that residents will take the time to come and view the downpour.”