North East Connected

Plastic bottle poppies centrepiece of Remembrance Day event

DOZENS of plastic bottles have been upcycled and turned into poppies for the centrepiece of a Remembrance Day event at a Tyneside care home.

The display of plastic bottle poppies was created by elderly residents at Willowdene Care Home, in Hebburn, near Newcastle.

They cut the bottoms off old bottles and painted them red before mounting them on two camouflage nets – an imitation of the weeping window display at the Tower of London.

The home’s handyman, Nathan James, also created a soldier silhouette statue, a cross stating “Lest We Forget”, and a bench with a purple poppy tribute to the animals that have died in service.

The exhibition has been erected in the care home’s shop window for Remembrance Day, on Monday, 11th November.

Ahead of the memorial day, it formed the centrepiece of an event involving the Hebburn branch of The Royal British Legion.

The charity has also contributed to the display, loaning the care home a painting of a girl handing a poppy to a solider.

Members including chairman Albert Anderson, vice chairman John Waggott, Jimmy Orange, Ann Hoult and Trevor Geering joined residents at the home for the occasion.

Albert said: “The display the residents have created to pay homage to the fallen of the wars is wonderful.

“Events like this are so important to keep the memories of those who gave their lives fresh for new generations.”

Des Markham, a veteran of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, also attended the event to talk to residents and visitors about the Second World War and life in the forces.

Willowdene Care Home resident Jimmy Mahoney, 96, also spoke about his time in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, after joining up as a cabin boy at just 14 years of age.

Alongside other residents, they joined in with professional singer Christine Rosemond as she performed songs from the era, which saw many overcome with emotion.

Christine said: “It’s really special to sing at Willowdene. I can see just how much it means to the residents.”

Resident Raymond Roper said: “I just love this. I love the music.”

Michael Beaney, home manager at Willowdene Care Home, said: “The event was so special for all of the residents and visitors.

“We held it ahead of Remembrance Day, on Monday, so The Royal British Legion members could join residents for the afternoon.

“The display the residents created was the best one the home has ever done and we had so many compliments from the visitors.

“We’d like to thank everyone who came to the event and made it such a special occasion.”

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