Hi everyone, it’s Hayley here and in this week’s blog, I’d like to share a little update with you! As you are probably aware, plans are already well underway for our events next year to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One.
We are acknowledging the sacrifice 77 former students and staff made when they fought and died in the conflict through the creation of individual textile poppies to represent each alumnus. These alumni are named on a memorial plaque in the University Chapel.
We are delighted that our poppy project has captured the hearts and imagination of so many of you! We have already received a considerable amount of poppies, and we are well on our way to exceeding our target of 77.
With Remembrance Day 2017 approaching, tomorrow members of our poppy project group will attending the University’s Armistice Service before getting together to make more poppies. We have already received so many lovingly handcrafted poppies, and I would like to thank everyone on behalf of the Alumni and Development Team for their time and effort so far!
Members of the group will be in the Student’s Union building from 9.30am until 4pm, manning a table will be dedicated to our poppy project. We are hoping that this will encourage students to join us! As a result, our Friday lunchtime meeting will still go ahead between 12-2pm, but it will be held in the SU Building on Main Campus. If you are unable to make it between 12 and 2pm, please feel free to pop into the SU throughout the day!
Sandra Carr, staff member: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of a sewing group here at the university. I was involved with the Chapel Embroidery project (embroidery for altar cloth and other furnishings) which I thoroughly enjoyed, and wanted to continue with the sewing community. It’s important to remember the fallen who were members of the college. To make these poppies, in an array of styles, textures and features, serves to remind us that the 77 who lost their lives were individuals with their own uniqueness. To design and make poppies is one way of saying that we remember them.”
Sharon Forsdyke, alumna: “I feel privileged to be involved with the poppy project and have made poppies from raffia, felt, gauze and cotton. As a member of the College Choral Society, I attended many events in the Chapel, but never really considered the significance of the World War One plaque until Pat Ransome (Alumna 1972) brought it our attention at a Committee Meeting.”
Kath Roberts, staff member: “I enjoyed taking part in the Anniversary Quilt Project and the Chapel Textiles Project so was keen to make some poppies for this worthwhile next project. By taking part in the projects I have made new friends and met people from across the University and outside, and there has been a great sense of community by doing things together. I am a great believer in crafting, particularly as part of a group, improving well-being.”
Earlier this week, we were visited by Sandra and Alan Robinson. Sandra made a poppy to represent fallen alumnus, Fred Bullough, who is named on the memorial plaque in the Chapel and is Alan’s great uncle. They brought in the poppy on the 100th anniversary of the death of Fred, who was a student at the then Chester College. Alumnus John Lord traced Fred’s family tree and made contact with the Robinsons, informing them of our plans to commemorate the 77 men listed on the memorial plaque in the chapel. They called in to see the plaque earlier this year and hear more about the project. When Sandra learned of the plans to craft 77 poppies into a memorial wreath to be unveiled next year, she felt it would be a lasting tribute to Fred if she made a poppy to represent him.
Fiona Roberts, Alumni and Development Manager: “It was a very poignant moment, to think that Sandra was handing over the poppy one hundred years to the day since Alan’s uncle Fred had been killed. We have received such a diverse array of poppies already; knitted, crocheted, embroidered, beaded, felted that the wreath is going to be a very bright and intricate piece which will show vibrancy, individuality and character, just like the men when they were students here.”
If you’re interested in taking part in our poppy project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01244 511091.