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

Shirley Smith's (far left) creation has been a hit with residents and staff at the retirement village. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds
Shirley Smith's (far left) creation has been a hit with residents and staff at the retirement village. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds

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

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

It took Mrs Smith hours to make her memorial

It took Mrs Smith hours to make her memorial

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.

"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.

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

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

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.

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."

The crosses represent the people who died in the war

The crosses represent the people who died in the war

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 centrepiece of the memorial

The centrepiece of the memorial

Senior village advisor Liam presents Mrs Smith with flowers as a thank you for her incredible creation

Senior village advisor Liam presents Mrs Smith with flowers as a thank you for her incredible creation