Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hertford Castle poppy display a 'touching tribute'

Poppy display at Hertford Castle Image copyright Gary Williams
Image caption More than 170 miles of wool has been used to create the poppy installation at the castle

More than 15,000 poppies will cascade down Hertford Castle to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

The poppies have been knitted and crocheted by The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters, as well as school children, people in care homes and other local volunteers.

More than 170 miles (270km) of wool has been used to create the installation ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

Society member Jo Baily said it was "a touching and very emotional tribute".

Ivy Buck, 100, is the oldest person to knit a poppy while six-year-old Bodhi Gover is the youngest.

Image copyright Gary Williams
Image caption The oldest yarn-bomber, Hertford's Ivy Buck, with Bodhi Gover, who is the youngest
Image copyright Gary Williams
Image caption Royal British Legion standard bearers mark the completion of the centenary display

Ms Baily said the experience, which started out as a closely-guarded secret, had been "absolutely wonderful".

"We wanted to find a way to commemorate and remember all those who fell during the First World War, but also to raise money," she said.

"Forty women turned up to our first meeting with no idea what they were letting themselves in for.

"It was very brave, but now they all say it's been absolutely wonderful."

'Spectacular'

As well as the knitted flowers, there is also a wreath made up of 352 poppies - one for every Hertford serviceman who died in the conflict.

The group has also knitted a mini-wreath for each of the 31 graves from World War One in the county.

All funds raised from the installation - which will be on display until 19 November - will go towards The Royal British Legion which launches the county's Poppy Appeal at the castle on Saturday.

Conservative councillor Peter Ruffles, the deputy mayor of Hertford Town Council, said it was "delighted" to be involved with the "spectacular" display.

Image copyright Gary Williams
Image caption This year, Armistice Day (11 November) coincides with Remembrance Sunday
Image copyright SSOHC
Image caption Bodhi Gover at a poppy-making work session

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