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Handmade blanket of poppies will need a new home after Remembrance Day


By Matt Guy

A BLANKET of over 3,700 poppies has been put on display over the Rochdale Canal for Remembrance Day – but will soon need a new home.

A groups of friends from Sowerby Bridge have been working hard to crochet the “Field of Poppies” to commemorate those who have lost their lives for Britain over the last 100 years.

Gill Murphy, who thought up the idea, said: “I was inspired by the ceramic poppies in London last year. I thought our little valley could surely do something.

“I originally thought I would be doing about 500 poppies but it just seemed to escalate.

“I quickly had to get help otherwise this display would not have been possible.

“My friend Pauline Knowles and her husband Keith made the little black pompoms for the centre, and fastened them onto the field.”

Originally, Gill had hoped that once the poppy field had been on display in Sowerby Bridge for Remembrance weekend, the Bank Field Museum in Halifax would take it.

However, Gill said: “The Bank Field Museum does not want the item so we are still looking for a good home for it. It’s rather large, measuring about 14 foot square.”

Pauline, 64, said: “We started doing it for ourselves but we thought it was such a shame that we don’t do it for charity.

poppies-3“I’m thrilled to bits. It looks magnificent. I have to say it does look fabulous. You don’t realise how big it is until you see it.

“Keith is a very big, but silent part in this. He’s spent hours and hours sewing on the poppies.

“It was Gill’s idea and we helped her to fulfil her dream.”

Gill said: “We had made about 1,000 poppies but this was starting to get very expensive, so I decided to email some local woollen mills asking for donations.”

After appealing to the woollen mills, several companies agreed to donate to the cause to help the crocheters out, including Stylecraft, T B Ramsden, James C Brett and King Cole.

The centrepiece of the blanket, the famous ‘Lest We Forget’ World War One commemorative poem, was also designed, devised and donated by local graphic design company Design It.

Gill also decided to set up a Just Giving page which has exceeded its target by raising £245 for the Royal British Legion.

She said: “Although this was very time consuming, and hard work, we enjoyed every second.

“I think it is the least we can do when you consider what our ancestors did for us. I found it deeply humbling.”


The poppy field will be alongside the Rochdale Canal in Sowerby Bridge from until Monday.

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