Duston marks WW1 centenary with hand-crafted poppy cascade

The community of Duston has been working hard since the start of summer to craft more than 5,000 poppies. Pictures supplied by David Winter.
The community of Duston has been working hard since the start of summer to craft more than 5,000 poppies. Pictures supplied by David Winter.

Duston Parish Council and residents have come together to create a striking display of more than 5,000 hand-crafted poppies to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

In May this year Duston Parish Council asked the community to make a tribute to commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1 by knitting, crocheting or crafting poppies to be displayed outside of St Luke’s Centre on Main Road in Duston.

Pictures: David Winter.

Pictures: David Winter.

The result is a spectacular eight metre cascade of just over 4,200 poppies, which flows down the front face of the Victorian part of St Luke’s Centre, splitting into three as it hits the ground, which represent the Eastern, Western and Italian fronts of WW1.

A further 1,000 poppies on sticks cascade down the bank, surrounding a cut out of the silent soldier and floral tribute installed by the Duston & District Branch of the Royal British Legion.

Alison Grantham, community development manager for Duston Parish Council designed and organised the project.

She said: “We were overwhelmed by the response not only from individuals, groups and organisations from the Duston community but also from people in surrounding villages and as far away as Berkshire and Scotland who wanted to be a part of it.

A eye-catching poppy display is on show in Duston, with thanks to the hard working helpers who spent hours making them. Pictures: David Winter.

A eye-catching poppy display is on show in Duston, with thanks to the hard working helpers who spent hours making them. Pictures: David Winter.

“This is such a fitting tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and has been a wonderful example of community engagement and spirit.

“On behalf of Duston Parish Council I would like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to get involved. We hope you are all as proud as we are of what this community has achieved."

The creations, made from wool, clay, paper and recycled plastic bottles, were put together by volunteers and parish council staff during the summer with support from Howdens Joinery Ltd who supplied equipment.

Chairman of Duston Parish Council, Councillor John Caswell, added: “This has been very well received by residents and I want to thank everyone in Duston who got involved in this project.

"It is great to see so many people wanting to mark 100 years since Armistice Day.”