A stunning Curtain of Poppies, which features more than 65,000 hand made contributions from thousands of knitters and fibre fans from all over the UK and abroad, is a colourful highlight of this year’s Wonderwool Wales.
The curtain, which commemorates the fallen in World War 1, goes on display for the first time at the wool and natural fibres showcase over the weekend April 28 and 29, at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells.
Launched at last year’s show, the initiative encouraged today’s community of knitters to recreate the united determination of the women at home during World War 1, who “did their bit” to support the troops overseas by knitting gloves, scarves, balaclavas and socks.
Poppies have piled in from knitting groups, craft groups, schools, WIs and individuals and they have been strung together into the commemorative WW1 installation. A Curtain of Poppies will be displayed in Hall 3, where The Royal British Legion will have a stand and will be collecting donations.
Curtain of Poppies organisers, mother and daughter Olwen and Jane Veevers, are delighted at the way the project caught the imagination of so many.
“We would like to thank everyone who has got involved, from individuals like a serving soldier who sent in a single embroidered felt flower, the first hand-made item she had ever made, to whole communities like Ludlow who sent in 2,500 to teenage textile enthusiasts from Porthcawl Comprehensive School who contributed more than 3,000.
“We also received a wonderful donation of nearly 2,000 from Merched y Wawr Anglesey and Cymdeithas Brodwaith Cymru in Caernarfonshire and North East Wales.
“And our grateful thanks also go to volunteers from Bridstow Spinners, Ross-on-Wye who worked furiously to link together piles of poppies which arrived unstrung.”
Poppies have been received from all over the UK and even from Europe and North America, often accompanied by cards, photos and notes explaining contributors’ reasons for getting involved.
Books of the messages can be viewed at the show. Olwen said: “One note that stands out is from St Bernard’s Primary School, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire who invited parents to come into school and sew a poppy with their children, giving each child the name of a soldier from the town who died during WW1 and encouraging them to research the soldier’s regiment and their age when they lost their life.”
After its launch at Wonderwool Wales, A Curtain of Poppies will become a travelling exhibition. It will be at Powys County Council’s County Hall, Llandrindod Wells during May and the National Wool Museum of Wales from May 26 until the end of June.
It will then go on display at the Gower Heritage Centre during July and August and the Newtown Textile Museum during September and next year (2019) it has been offered a permanent home at the Gower Heritage Centre.
Wonderwool Wales is also inviting monetary donations in support of this project for the Royal British Legion. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Wonderwool-Wales-Curtain-of-Poppies