Melton’s Poppy Appeal raises £18,000 and counting in just a week

The two minutes' silence is observed in Sherrard Street

The two minutes' silence is observed in Sherrard Street

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Melton’s Poppy Appeal has raised a whopping £18,000 in just a week, with money still pouring in and further fundraising events still in store.

The running total was revealed this week after the huge turnout at this year’s Remembrance Sunday parade and the tributes paid on Armistice Day last Wednesday when the town came to a standstill as people observed the two minutes’ silence.

Phil Hardy of The Melton Band sounded The Last Post.

Phil Hardy of The Melton Band sounded The Last Post.

Two maroons were fired in Play Close at 11am and 11.02am respectively and a service took place outside the Royal British Legion (RBL) in Thorpe End.

After the service a painting by a former Melton woman, depicting a collection of poppies, was handed to the town’s RBL branch. The stunning artwork was donated by talented artist, Jean Ecob, who moved to Portugal 27 years ago.

Jean’s close friend Wendy Cleaver, who has been collecting for the Poppy Appeal for almost 20 years, presented it to Malcolm ‘Jock’ Bryson, who organises the Melton appeal.

Mrs Cleaver said: “Jean knew I’d been a poppy seller for many years in Burton Lazars and she wanted to support the Poppy Appeal by donating her lovely painting to the Melton RBL branch.”

Jock Bryce and Wendy Cleaver with Jean Ecob's picture in the British Legion lounge.

Jock Bryce and Wendy Cleaver with Jean Ecob's picture in the British Legion lounge.

Mr Bryson said: “I’m really chuffed with how much we’ve raised so far. I don’t think we’ll reach the £26,500 we managed last year but that was a very exceptional year. I expect more money to come in before the end of the appeal, on the last day of September next year, and with other fundraising events to come.”

“It was a very nice gesture by Mrs Ecob to give us her picture and she thought this was the right place for it. We’re honoured to have it on display in our lounge.”

l To see how local schools got involved in the remembrance turn to page 21.

Royal British Legion wreath layers Robert Burt, Marlene Kirk and William Flint

Royal British Legion wreath layers Robert Burt, Marlene Kirk and William Flint