Striking Otley parish church poppy cascade focus for Remembrance

A stunning remembrance display outside Otley Parish Church is turning heads in the town as it begins commemorations of  the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Sixteen thousand poppies have been knitted by local people and are now covering walls and spilling into the churchyard and beyond.

The striking 'poppy cascade', featuring thousands of handmade knitted flowers, started being installed at Otley All Saints Parish Church on Monday, October 22.

The church's Knit and Natter knitting group came up with the idea earlier this year and appealed for a mass effort to create 14,000 poppies for the occasion.

In the end they exceeded the target by 2,000.

Otley Town Council Chair Councillor Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield) told local paper the Ilkley Gazette, "This is a fabulous effort by all concerned to produce a fitting tribute to the hundreds of thousands of men, women and animals that fought so gallantly in the 1914-1918 war."

The flowers, in a variety of reds and purples, have been knitted, crocheted, felted and stitched together while some have even been made from recycled drink bottles. They were then mounted onto panels by teams of volunteers and these have been attached to the outside of the church.

The display includes camouflage netting and sandbags to further highlight the links with the British and Commonwealth armies that took part in the war.

Some of the more fragile poppies, meanwhile, are being incorporated into floral arrangements within the church for Armistice Sunday, November 11.

A Poppy Trail is also being created to link the church with the town’s Memorial Garden, and to the two Tommy figures (transparent silhouettes of soldiers) that are being installed in the town centre.

Those figures, produced for the Remembered charity's national There But Not There Armistice project, are part of Otley's special effort to mark the centenary.

(Pictures courtesy of Eileen Barr taken from Leeds CofE Camera Club Facebook group)

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