Monday, 20 September 2021

Poppy Appeal 2015 launched

DOZENS of musicians entertained Henley shoppers to mark the launch of this year?s Poppy Appeal

DOZENS of musicians entertained Henley shoppers to mark the launch of this year?s Poppy Appeal.

Musician Sam Brown, from Sonning Common, led four ukulele groups as they performed classic pop and music hall songs in Market Place on Saturday.

Their set included You Are My Sunshine, I?ll Tell Me Ma, Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jolene by Dolly Parton.

They stopped halfway through while Lorraine Hillier, the Mayor of Henley, bought the first poppy from John Green, chairman of the Royal British Legion?s Henley and Peppard branch.

Mr Green and Henley town councillor Martin Akehurst, who were dressed in First World War uniforms, then took collections from the public.

When the performance resumed, the pair marched up and down in front of the stage and linked arms to dance with each other.

Ms Brown split the 50-strong audience into two groups and asked one to sing Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag while the other sang It?s A Long Way To Tipperary.

Mr Green and Cllr Akehurst joined her at the microphone for a closing rendition of Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler?

It was the fourth year running that Ms Brown, a former backing singer for Pink Floyd, has launched the appeal in Henley.

This time she was joined by Henley?s Chantry Ukulele Players, the Jumping Flea Club of Nettlebed, the People?s Ukulele Brigade and her own International Ukulele Club of Sonning Common.

Shirley Lees, Henley?s Poppy Appeal organiser, said: ?It was absolutely fabulous ? we seem to attract more and more musicians every year.

?They always get into the spirit of the day and it?s lovely to see so many people stopping to watch and support them.

?It?s good for us to give people a bit of entertainment while publicising the launch at the same time.?

Mr Green said: ?There?s no question that the appeal is well known but the way Sam has kicked it off has really captured people?s awareness.

?Tragically, the need for the Legion?s services isn?t getting any less despite the fact that there are fewer conflicts today. Increasingly the physical and mental toll of combat is being understood but good treatment costs a lot of money.?

Volunteers will be carrying out house-to-house collections around Henley until November 6. The town?s annual service of remembrance will be held in Market Place at 11am on Sunday, November 8.

Those taking part in the parade will gather in Greys Road car park from 10.4am.

Details about the lives of former Henley servicemen who died during the First World War will be displayed in Market Place tomorrow (Saturday).

Their stories were researched by amateur historian Mike Willoughby, from Woodcote, as part of his Lest We Forget project.

Tomorrow night, there will be a dance at the town hall featuring the Sound Force Big Band in aid of the appeal.

Organiser Connie Butt, who manages the Henley Over-60s Club in Greys Road car park, is encouraging guests to wear red and black. Tickets cost £35 per head for tables of 10 and can be bought from Mrs Butt on 07879 217817.

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