Warwick community tribute attracts thousands

Over nine weeks thousands of people flocked to Warwick to see the massive community tribute made of handmade poppies.

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019, 10:40 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:27 am
David and Gill Benson, Tony Fitzpatrick, Helen Fitzpatrick, Carol Warren, Richard Warren, Gail Guest, David Guest.

The tribute featuring more than 60,000 poppies was installed inside St Mary’s Church and was created to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Poppies were made by people all over the world and more than 30,000 people went along to see the display.

The tribute was taken down on December 10 and now Helen Fitzpatrick on behalf of the Warwick Poppies committee has reflected on their efforts.

Thousands of people went to go see the Warwick Poppies community tribute.

Helen said: “As we look back, we could never, in our wildest dreams, have anticipated a display containing 62,438 handmade poppies. From the outset we were keen that Warwick Poppies 2018 would be a community tribute to the Fallen, and the community rallied round in their hundreds.

“Many donations arrived anonymously, many came from around the country, and many came from across the oceans.

“We really want everyone who supported us to know that we were blown away by their efforts and that we were, and are, truly grateful. It has been very humbling to read the messages that accompanied some of the poppies, and an honour to display them with pride.

“So many people have been moved by our project and it has certainly provided a local focal point where folk could come together, get involved and pay their own personal tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us to have our freedom today.

Thousands of handmade poppies were donated to the project to create the tribute.

“The community of Warwick has been brilliant and we are delighted that the thousands of visitors have benefitted the local, shops, cafes and businesses. We have made some wonderful friends; and we have been amazed to discover the myriad of local groups who all exist because of the dedication of so many fantastic volunteers.

“During the nine weeks that Warwick Poppies was open to visitors, St Mary’s Church had more than 30,000 people – the usual number for a whole year.

“Our small team of eight had to raise all the money to mount the display, and are exceedingly grateful to the various groups, charities and councils who provided financial support and valuable advice.

In the new year we shall be announcing the final sum raised by donations, sales and events. This will be shared between the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and St Mary’s Church Capital Campaign.

“What is happening to the poppies? Well, some are already en route to the Garrison Church, to become part of a permanent feature for the 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and others are travelling to a small church in Norfolk, to become part of a local remembrance project.

“Others will be used to create mini displays for homes for the elderly and various other ideas are also in hand and many poppies will go on general sale. So, watch this space and get in touch if you have any suggestions.”

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