Poppies have been fixed to the street lights around the North Lodge area of Chester-le-Street. This marks the beginning of the Remembrance period and the creation of the North Lodge Remembrance Group started by Christopher Veitch, a resident concerned that following last year's centenary we will see a climb down in the significance of 11th November.
"Last year was a really big year following the centenary of the end of World War One. I'm fearful that in coming years the public will see less made of our country's period of Remembrance. This group has been set up so that the community can continue to show their thanks to all that served our country in conflicts over the years," said Chris Veitch
"I have lived my life in this area and as an active member of the fire service, I love doing work that adds value to the community. I had seen a similar thing done in another area and thought it would be something that would help promote Remembrance and build community spirit. It gave me a real sense of pride receiving all the good wishes we got from people passing by while the volunteers and I were putting the poppies up. I'm hoping next year we'll have even more people involved because our servicemen and servicewomen are never gone as long as we remember them."
Chris Veitch is a Watch Commander for the Scottish Fire Service and attends Durham's Remembrance Service as their representative. He set up this new group and also wants to use this to campaign for a new war memorial in the North Lodge Area.
Cllr Craig Martin has been supporting the efforts of the group and wants to see it go from success to success in the future.
"It gives me great pleasure supporting this new group and highlighting the significance of 11th November, no matter what year it is. I congratulate Chris and the team on helping to build a greater sense of community within the area. We had lots of fun getting those poppies up, I've also learnt how dirty a street light can get," said Cllr Craig Martin.
The plastic poppies have been paid for by Chris and were manufactured by a local business. They were put up from Saturday 27th October and will be taken down on 17th November, with the permission of the Local Authority. With the aim of reusing them and creating more to have an even bigger event next year.
Anyone wanting to get involved is encouraged and welcome to do so. Please email the group expressing your interest:
Special thanks need to be given to Washington Waterjet Ltd, Excel Signs and Exhibitions, Dav Kumar of Imperial Claims, T.S. Reed Insurance, and Durham County Council.