Poppies on lamppost effort in Chatteris raises an amazing sum for Royal British Legion
PUBLISHED: 14:49 17 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:49 17 November 2019
Town councillor and former mayor James Carney helped to raise £860 with a 'poppy on a lamppost' effort in Chatteris.
"Last year I did 18 poppies to mark the year 1918 as it was the centenary of the end of WWI and I had a great response and raised £435," he said.
"I got the idea after seeing lamppost poppies in Ely and Sutton in 2017 but thought I could also use it as a fundraising opportunity for the Royal British Legion."
He said: "This year I had 39 poppies (to denote 1939) as it is the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII.
"All 39 were sponsored by individuals, families and businesses all of whom are located in Chatteris or have connections to the town."
He said the poppies were not just about two world wars and a small number of poppies both last year and this were to remember service personnel killed in more recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
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"The most recent one was in honour of a soldier who died in March 2018 whilst on a military training exercise," said Mr Carney.
He said: "It wasn't totally without its challenges to get where we are now - this year I had to submit a risk assessment and proof of public liability insurance to the Cambs CC highways and street lighting department- in case the poppies posed a health and safety risk!
"Luckily I had most of the information they needed to begin with and the Chatteris RBL helped provide the further documentation needed."
He said that that other behind the scenes workers included help from his wife, Amy, and Anne Wells of the King Edward Centre where they printed out, laminated and trimmed the sponsor messages ready for applying to the poppies.
"Ian Benney helped me install them on the lampposts so big thanks to him too," he said.
"In some cases it was quite touching to read the messages that some people asked to be put on and it brought home the importance of remembrance.
"Finally I'd like say to say a huge thank you to all the sponsors for their generosity plus the aforementioned people and the RBL for their assistance."