Ex-art teacher creates incredible poppy display for fellow residents of Northampton care home

An 80-year-old retired art teacher has spent hours crafting an incredible poppy display for her peers in time for Remembrance Day.

Thursday, 8th November 2018, 2:54 pm
Updated Monday, 12th November 2018, 9:59 am
Shirley Smith's (far left) creation has been a hit with residents and staff at the retirement village. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds

Shirley Smith took a month to create the memorial at the Richmond Retirement and Care Village in Grange Park.

It gives residents and visitors the opportunity to donate to the Poppy Appeal before planting a flower or a cross into the display.

"It's a special time of year with the centenary but I was also aware that one often puts money in the tin and walks a few steps down the road before forgetting about it," said Mrs Smith.

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It took Mrs Smith hours to make her memorial

"But with this, the action of physically putting something into the display makes you think about it a bit more."

The piece is very detailed with Mrs Smith including a disabled access ramp to the cross after she thought about the wheelchair-bound Richmond Village residents.

Those who donated have added the names of their relatives who died in conflict to the crosses in the display.

"From my point of view the crosses represent the people who died in the war and the poppies are for the people who came back from the war," said Mrs Smith.

Mrs Smith has an eye for detail, adding a disabled lift to her display

But despite receiving a lot of praise from staff and residents at Richmond Village, Mrs Smith was modest when talking about her incredible creation.

Mrs Smith said: "I try to keep away from it because it's a bit embarrassing, to me it's just something I have done, but I understand people thought it was quite good."

Senior village advisor Liam Donovan presented Mrs Smith with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of the staff and residents to thank her for her efforts.

The crosses represent the people who died in the war
The centrepiece of the memorial
Senior village advisor Liam presents Mrs Smith with flowers as a thank you for her incredible creation