Friday, 19 April 2019

Boat decorated with poppy tapestry for remembrance

Boat decorated with poppy tapestry for remembrance

AN old boat in Whitchurch has been covered in a tapestry of more than 400 hand-sewn and knitted poppies to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

About 20 regular participants in the village’s weekly “knit and stitch” sessions took part in the project, which was suggested by member Denyse Williams, who had seen a similar project in Haslemere.

The boat was installed over the summer by the Make Our Whitchurch Special group to make High Street look more attractive and was filled with flowering plants.

The tapestry features mostly red remembrance poppies in felt and wool with black buttons but also has white ones, which symbolise peace and spell out the number 100 in commemoration of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

The boat has also been given a mast by villager Peter Davidson and it was hoped that the tapestry could be mounted on it like a sail but this proved too complicated. Pam Wilkinson and Diana Marriott, the village’s Poppy Appeal collectors, were among those who took part in the project.

Mrs Marriott said: “I think it looks amazing. I watched people driving past and they all had smiles on their faces.

“Although the subject matter is serious, it is also a bit of fun that brightens up people’s day.”

Gill Williamson, who leads the knitting group, said: “We all thought Denyse’s idea was super and started working on it straight away. We planned it out on paper and split the work up so some people were cutting the fabric, others sewed the buttons and so on.

“We decided to put the white poppies on because they represent peace and made the 100 stand out.

“It’s nice to bring some colour back to the boat because we really like it but it needed to be decorated once the flowers had died off.

“Everybody joined in and was enthusiastic so there was a real community spirit around this, as there always is in Whitchurch.”

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