Project to plant poppies made by all city’s pupils

June 01 2018
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PRIMARY school teacher Dan Vidler is embarking on an ambitious project to get every schoolchild in Wells to make a poppy to be planted in front of The Bishop’s Palace in time for this year’s Remembrance Day.

The field of 8,000 poppies would represent everyone from Somerset, or who served in a Somerset regiment, who lost their life in the First World War, which ended 100 years ago.

“I’ve been planning The Somerset Poppies for 18 months,” said Dan, an artist and a teacher at Coxley Primary School.

“It was inspired by the poppies at the Tower of London and the Shrouds of the Somme by Rob Heard. This continues the idea of Remembrance and will help educate the children about it. I also like the idea of kids being involved in larger scale arts projects.”

The poppies will have petals made of rubber, and wire stems.

They would be planted in the Palace’s Croquet Lawn on November 10 where the public would be able to view them for a week.

They would then go on display inside the Palace before being sold to raise money for charities including the Royal British Legion and SSAFA.

Dan estimates that it will cost £13,500 to complete the project, mainly due to the cost of materials, and he is seeking financial backing from the local community.

Wells Chamber of Commerce and Tourism agreed to donate £100 after a presentation by Dan about the project at the chamber meeting in May.

Anyone else who would like to donate will soon be able to do so online, but for now Dan can be contacted by emailing DVidler@educ.somerset.gov.uk.

“I’m delighted to hear of this amazing project and as a member of the Wells branch of the Royal British Legion, fully support Dan in this,” said Derek Cooper, the Poppy Appeal organiser for Wells.

“We hope people will get behind the project as well. To have the young involved in this act of remembrance is so important so that future generations will never forget.

“We will be delighted to put the online donation link on the Legion Facebook page.”

Derek said that there are many events planned across the city to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. He has requested that each group planning to mark the occasion sends a representative to a meeting he will be holding in conjunction with the city council and new mayor Councillor Celia Wride to try and collate a joint approach.

“We know that the chamber of commerce, the Cathedral, Wells Lions, Wookey Hole, Wookey and schools and others have plans in the pipeline,” he said.

“So please look out for the date and come along with your ideas and suggestions and the Legion and the city council will add our support and help in whatever way we can.”

He can also be contacted by emailing wellsrblpao@aol.co.uk