Dunmow is decked with thousands of knitted poppies to commemorate end of the First World War
PUBLISHED: 15:42 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:07 06 November 2018
Local care home residents, community groups and members of the public have worked together to knit and crochet nearly 8000 poppies in five months, which now deck Dunmow’s town centre.
The poppies, which adorn railings, snake up trees and hang in shop windows, were put up by a voluntary group over the weekend, in the lead up to the centenary of the end of the First World War on Sunday.
The display is not only a local effort, but a national one with poppies from as far as America and Australia being sent to Dunmow.
As well as the knitted poppies, larger poppies inscribed with the names of fallen Dunmow soldiers are attached to the town’s lampposts.
Kathleen Shannon, and Jackie Monk, members of community group Dunmow Knit and Knatter, organised the ‘mass knit’.
Mrs Shannon said: “It was sometime last year and I thought to myself its the centenary, we should do something. Then in May this year one of the girls knew somebody in The Royal British Legion in Dunmow and it swelled from there. We didn’t expect this many... we thought maybe we could make a thousand.”
The Dunmow Branch of The Royal British Legion have been the driving force behind the Dunmow Says Thank You campaign, which has organised events to commemorate the war ending.
Kathleen, who created 500 poppies poppies herself went on: “People who have not knitted for years have got back into it and they love it. One lady from a care home is 99-years-old and she did more than 30 poppies. Another lady whose uncle was in the First World War made 100. We have had some from the State of Washington and Australia and my mum and sister knitted some in Ireland.”
A group of volunteers, including members of the Dunmow Women’s Institute spent four evenings and a total of 12 hours attaching them to four cargo nets which now cover trees in the town centre.
Assembling the wreathes which hang in the doors of Dunmow businesses as well as other parts of the display had also taken months of work.
Mrs Shannon said: “The relief yesterday when it all went up...we are on a high. People stopped me yesterday in the town and said how amazing it looked. I love getting people involved in things and the community feeling I’ve got from this is truly remarkable.”