Knitting nannies unveil amazing war horse made of poppies for Remembrance Day

A war horse adorned with poppies lovingly knitted by the community stands proudly outside a Lincolnshire church as preparations begin to remember the brave.

The red poppies are tribute to the souls who died in conflict – the purple ones the animals so often forgotten at this time of year.

Magnificent Remembrance displays like the one now on view to the public in Alford are being echoed in towns and villages across the county, as giant poppies appear on lamp posts and letter boxes wear poppy ‘hats’.

Communities are coming together like never before to honour those who gave their lives in two world wars and many other other battles since so we could free.

The residents of Alford are deservedly proud of the stunning displays at St Wilfrid’s Church and the Corn Exchange – and Poppy – The War Horse has already had lots of visitors..

Many contributors started knitting poppies at the beginning of the year and have lost count of how many have been made – resulting in a competition being run in the Corn Exchange for the public to have a guess.

Shops are also being invited to contribute to the massive community effort by creating window displays, which will also be judged.

One of the town’s ‘knitting nannies’, Rachel Burnett, came up with the idea of the war horse.

"We wanted to something for Remembrance Day and it was a sudden, ‘I want to build a horse’,” explained Rachel.

"We started by creating the frame with wire mesh, which was kindly donated by Alford Memorials

"The red poppies represent those who lost their lives in conflict and the purple poppies are for the animals who are very rarely remembered at this time.

"It’s taken six months but I think it’s turned out really beautiful.”

Ben Stephenson, from Alford Memorials, said when he heard Rachel was planning to build a horse he went to see her to find out how he could help.

As well as providing the wire mesh for the frame, he also donated a ‘War Horse’ plaque.

“It’s such a good cause we wanted to be involved,” he said. “I think it’s wonderful. I believe it’s being auctioned off afterwards so it may even find itself outside our workshop.”

Mobile hairdressers Sandra Plant and Joanne Rook also got involved with the knitting of the poppies – and encouraged their customers, too.

"We got loads of our ladies to knit some poppies - a lot of them hadn’t knitted for years but they all got involved,” said Sandra.

"I think it looks fabulous. Everyone has done a great job.”

Over at the Corn Exchange, poppies cascade from the upstairs windows outside, beckoning the public to see more inside and stay for a cuppa.

A display of soldiers, knitted poppies and dolls representing thosein the services during the wars fill the stage, with 82 giant poppies around the hall bearing the names of those lost in world wars and in Ireland.

Patricia Davis and her team of 21 ladies in the Alford Art and Craft Circle have been working on the project for the past year.

"I got the idea from a display I saw in a shop window and thought the ladies needed a project to do,” she said. “This is the result.”

One of the members, Patricia Evans, said she was proud to have been involved.

"It’s lovely to be part of the community and the cause it was for kept us all going.

"My father-in-law fought in the war and sometimes when I was making the poppies I felt I was making them for him.”

Ann Lincoln, chairman of Alford Royal British Legion agreed. “I just think it is absolutely fantastic that a lot of ladies have out in all this time and effort to make Alford look wonderful.”


Saturday, November 11, Armistice Day

Alford Festival of Remembrance concert, Alford Corn Exchange, 7pm, Free event with retiring collection. Raffle and light refreshments.

Sunday, November 12

Parae assembles at 9.30am at Safelincs Car Park, Chauntry Road. Service at St Wilfrid’s Church at10am. Act of Remembrance at War Memorial 11am followed by light refreshments at Corn Exchange.


(Sunday, November 12)

The parade will start from the Hildreds Centre Service Yard (off Beresford Avenue), please arrive by 10:15am to form up for the parade which will leave at 10:30am prompt, everyone is welcome. Please note the bottom of Beresford Avenue, Lumley Road, Lumley Avenue and the roundabout on Scarbrough Avenue will all be closed

during the parade.


Saturday, November 11

11am Wainfleet St Mary Church and War Memorial.

Sunday, November 12

10,45am Service at Wainfleet All Saints Church followed by War Memorial


Saturday, November 11

Spilsby Royal British Legion will be gathering at the Franklin Statue in Spilsby at around 10.50am to await the maroons at 11am followed by the Last Post, a two-minute's silence then reveille. Afterwards, some of the party will be going to the cemetery to lay wreaths on the war graves there. Members have invited children from Spilsby Primary to join them.

Sunday, November 12

Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Sunday there will be a traditional parade forming up at 10.20am by the Buttercross car park in Spilsby for the march to the church, where the service and wreath laying ceremony will be held.


November 12

Meet at QEGS at 9.30 then parade to St Mary's for the service, then leave the church at around 10.45am for Last Post at Horncastle War Memorial at 11am

Related topics: