News 6th June 2024 building community

The Hildreds’ community project, in conjunction with British Legion flag maker Newton Newton Flags, sees 3,000 handcrafted poppies donated in commemoration of D-Day 80.

It’s the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. The 1944 landings represented the largest seaborne invasion in history. Along with the associated airborne operations, it marked the beginning of the liberation of France and western Europe.

As the British Legion commemorates the occasion with events and resources for its members and supporters, its official flag and bunting maker, Newton Newton Flags, has collaborated with fellow Lincolnshire-based businesses, The Hildreds, on a community project.

Led by our Steve Andrews, Centre Manager, the onsite team at the NewRiver REIT plc-owned and Workman-managed shopping centre launched a campaign to ask visitors to knit, crochet, make and paint as many poppies as possible until September, when they will all be sewn onto a huge net and draped around the Skegness clock tower for Armistice Day.

Community project: 3,000 handmade poppies collected so far

Steve said: “We jumped at the chance to get involved, and built a special poppy donation box so visitors could drop off their home made poppies when they visited the centre. So far we’ve had around 3,000 poppies donated, with many more on their way. The stories from people making the poppies have been quite incredible, including people recovering from cancer who have used the opportunity as therapy, to care homes who have shown and taught their residents suffering with dementia how to knit and crochet the poppies to add to our collection.”

Tracy Turner, Director at Newton Newton Flags, a family business established in 1975, which also supplies flags to all branches of HM Armed Services, said: “We are truly humbled by the amount of people coming together on this community project and can’t thank each and everyone of you enough.”

The team at the Hildreds also wanted to get involved so they made, painted and installed ten 8ft tall silhouettes of armed forces members, and hung them in the centre as a mark of respect and to commemorate not only the 80th anniversary of D-Day on 6th June, but also VE, VJ and Armistice Day.

The community project has been filmed by BBC Look North, featuring interviews with the team and members of the public, who have taken part knitting and making the poppies.

Steve continued: “If you are visiting the Hildreds any time soon, please stop a while and give a thought to those who gave their tomorrow so we could enjoy today.”


Read more about our: