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Aldridge to create 'Poppy Road' to remember town's fallen

By Charlotte Callear | Aldridge | News | Published:

A town is hoping to create a ‘Poppy Road’ to mark the end of the First World War.

Jan Headland (left) has knitted 250 poppies to help turn Station Road into Poppy Road with Karen Ross who is helping to organise the event

Aldridge residents want to adorn Station Road with 10,000 poppies and silhouettes of soldiers to commemorate the 40 men who lived on the road and fought in the Great War.

The poppies and silhouettes will be on display from November 1 to 11.

Aldridge Great War Project, Aldridge Local History Society and residents of Station Road, are working with other local groups, businesses and schools for the project.

Residents and different groups have been busy making poppies since October and one knitter, Jan Headland, aged 73, has made more than 250. She estimates each of the flowers take an hour to knit and she makes around five a day.

She said: “I will sit there and knit while I watch the telly. I have been knitting all my life so I do not have to look while I knit. The only time I put it down is when the football is on.

“It is important because people forget too easily. We have schools taking part so it will bring history alive for the children.

“The project is based around these men who lived in Aldridge and worked in Aldridge.

“I always felt history was dry when I was at school but it was only when I left that I started to read and I realised these are real lives.”

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It is the first year this has been attempted and it comes as this year marks the centenary of the end of the First world War.

There is a call for poppies to be knitted or crocheted and completed ones can then be handed into Aldridge Library in Rookery Lane or Lynda’s Pets and Plants on Walsall Wood Road.

Sue Satterthwaite, the chair of the Aldridge Great War Project, said: “Station Road, more than any other road in Aldridge, represents the part that local people played in the First World War.

“Not only did 40 men from the road serve, but it was from the railway station that many more travelled to and from war. Also of course it was from the station that patients arrived to be treated at our two military hospitals in Aldridge.

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“For all of these reasons, there could be no more fitting place to commemorate the end of the war than in Station Road.

“100 years on local people have an opportunity to play their part in the commemorations of this terrible war, to make Poppy Road a fitting tribute to those who gave so much.”

Andrew Wood of Aldridge Local History society said: “This project is about bringing people together to remember the sacrifices Aldridge people made a hundred years ago. The first Poppy Knit Saturday will take place on April 7th from 10am until 12pm at Aldridge Methodist Church. We hope people of all ages including children will pop along to knit, crochet, and share ideas.”

A demonstration on how to make poppies from plastic bottles will be held on on the same day at Aldridge Library.

Anyone wishing to make poppies or to find out more about the project visit the Facebook page Poppy Road Project 2018 or contact Andrew Wood of Aldridge local History Society at Aldridgelhs@gmail.com or telephone 01922 457227.

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear
@CCallear_Star

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office

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