HUNDREDS of knitted poppies made by East Lancashire residents will be part of a public art display to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Parishioners of St Gabriel’s Church, in Brownhill, Blackburn have been encouraging people to craft a poppy as part of a campaign to line the ‘Road of Remembrance’ in Folkestone, Kent, with thousands of homemade flowers sent from around the world.


Millions of soldiers walked the street to reach ships sailing from Folke-stone Harbour during both World Wars, and in recent years, local craft shop owner Di Burns has led a campaign to decorate the street in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

About 300 poppies are expected to be sent from Blackburn on a long banner, after dozens of children and parents at St Gabriel’s Primary School, as well as other schools and churches, got involved in the project.

Meanwhile, another 600 will be stiched on to a giant poppy that has been drawn on to a 13-foot canvas. The canvas is set to be displayed on the exterior of St Gabriel’s in time for November 11.

Vicar Steve Corbett said: “A lot of people have got involved and distributed small knitting and sewing kits. I think it’s a good way of remembering the soldiers who went off to the trenches in the First World War. Hopefully we’ll be able to display the rest on the church wall in time for our Remembrance Sunday ser-vice.”

Blackburn mayor Alan Cottam said: “Quite a few groups have made a big effort with Remembrance events this year.

“I think it’s really struck a chord with people as it’s the centenary of the start of the First World War, and we’ve also heard about the final withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan.

“I’ve had requests for the mayor’s attendance all over the place and it’s really nice to see people making such a big effort.”