21,000 knitted poppies donated for church tower cascade

A cascade of more than 21,000 knitted and crocheted poppies has been hung from a church tower to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

People from around the world crafted the handmade poppies which adorn St Peter’s Church in Sudbury, Suffolk and the nearby town hall.

Teresa Elford, of Sudbury Town Council, said the cascade over the 90ft church tower is more than 100ft long, including a section draped over the ground at the bottom.

Volunteers crafted more than 23,000 handmade poppies. More than 21,000 of them are displayed on St Peter's church in Sudbury, Suffolk and the rest are on the town hall building. (Sam Russell/ PA)
Knitted and crocheted poppies are displayed on St Peter’s church in Sudbury, Suffolk (Sam Russell/PA)

More than 23,000 poppies were contributed, with more than 21,000 on the church tower and the rest placed on the front of the town hall, she said.

Some of the poppies are purple rather than red, in memory of animals who died during the war.

Ms Elford said people had wanted to do something special to mark the centenary of Armistice Day and their idea was inspired by a previous knitted poppy display in Walsham-le-Willows, 28 miles away.

Teresa Elford (left) and Jodie Budd, both of Sudbury Town Council, said the idea was inspired by a previous knitted poppy display in Walsham-le-Willows. (Sam Russell/ PA)
Teresa Elford (left) and Jodie Budd, both of Sudbury Town Council, said the idea was inspired by a previous knitted poppy display in Walsham-le-Willows (Sam Russell/ PA)

“Our initial target was 5,500 poppies and we were just going to do something on the town hall.

“We smashed our target within weeks – they just came in floods.”

She said poppies arrived in the post from as far afield as Australia and Denmark as word of their project spread on Facebook, and a weekly volunteer group was set up in the town hall to attach the poppies to the netting with cable ties.

Fire fighters hung the cascade of poppies from the 90ft church tower. (Sam Russell/ PA)
Firefighters hung the cascade of poppies from the 90ft church tower (Sam Russell/ PA)

The cargo net for the church tower display was donated by RAF Honington and firefighters hung it in place last week.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “Every time I go out there there are crowds of people just taking photos.”

More than 21,000 handmade poppies adorn the church tower and the rest are on Sudbury's town hall, pictured. (Sam Russell/ PA)
More than 21,000 handmade poppies adorn the church tower and the rest are on Sudbury’s town hall, pictured (Sam Russell/ PA)

She said the cascade will remain in place until November 15.

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