Poppy cascades at five Hertford churches for Remembrance
- Credit: The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters
Two years ago Hertford’s yarnbombers knitted, crafted and crocheted 15,000 poppies, which were installed at Hertford Castle. The poppies have been reused for this year’s Remembrance project.
In 2018, The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters (SSOHC) joined together with sheltered housing groups, primary schools, craft groups and the local community to knit thousands of poppies, using 170 miles of wool.
More than 2,000 individuals were involved in the project, with seven junior schools, combining 1,661 pupils, making one poppy each.
These poppies created a waterfall effect, cascading from the top of Hertford Castle, over 50ft high.
Following the incredible feat of making the 15,000 poppies, they were attached securely to seven camouflage nets, kindly donated by the Army.
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This took 1,900 hours, 1,000 cups of tea and four miles of thread. But more than that, it required the most amazing dedication by the group of ladies taking part.
As one SSOHC member said: “Every poppy represents a life remembered.”
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Ivy Buck, a Hertford resident who turned 100 in 2018, knitted poppies, and Bodhi Gover, one of SSOHC’s youngest members, aged just six at the time, made a poppy at school and fastened 17 poppies onto the netting.
Bodhi said at the time: “The ghost is there for all the soldiers who are poppies.”
The ghost in question being one of the Perspex ‘There But Not There’ silhouettes.
Over £17,000 was raised to support the Royal British Legion through the generosity of those donating.
In 2019 and 2020, The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters offered sections of poppy nets to local Hertford churches.
This year, five churches each have sections on display, some inside and some outside. The larger nets measure 4.5 metres square.
Churches with poppy nets are All Saints’ Church and United Reformed Church, both in Hertford, Holy Trinity Church in Bengeo, St Mary’s Church in Hertingfordbury, and Hertford’s St Andrew’s Church.
Kay Juniper, pastoral carer at St Mary’s Church, said: “The poppies look absolutely amazing.
“Our churchwardens hung them on a frame over the front door; they are stunning. They make an impressive backdrop for Tommy.”
Diana Howarth, churchwarden at Holy Trinity Church, said: “The poppy net is hanging from the balcony at the back of Holy Trinity Church, and is a splendid reminder of Remembrance.”
Canon Jo Loveridge, from All Saints’ Church, said: “All Saints’ Church has a stunning cascade of poppies draped under the church tower to remind us all of those who died in the World Wars.”
Colonel Keith Cockman, formerly of the Hertfordshire Regiment, and Canon Jo Loveridge, have also put together a video which can be found on the All Saints’ Church website at www.allsaintshertford.org/index.php
The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters also made a poppy wreath in 2018, to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One.
The wreath comprises 352 poppies, representing the ultimate sacrifice made by the 352 Hertford servicemen who gave their lives for their country.
Hertford Town Council laid the SSOHC poppy wreath at Hertford Town War Memorial as part of today’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations.
Jo Baily, one of the founder members of the Hertford crafters, said: “SSOHC attracts a wide age range of members and a huge range of talents for different crafts – crochet, knitting, embroidery, felting and cross stitch, to name a few.
“We welcome all capabilities and don’t mind how much or little anyone would like to make.
“Our aims are to bring joy to Hertford, create community spirit and raise funds for local charities.”