Organisers of this year’s Poppy Appeal in Melton are hoping for a bumper total as the nation marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
A short service of re-dedication of the town’s Memorial Gardens was attended on Saturday morning by dignataries including Mayor, Councillor Pru Chandler, as well as members of the Royal British Legion (RBL), which co-ordinates the appeal.
Also in attendance at the service, which was taken by the Rev James Skinner, were members of Melton Town Estate, Keswick House ladies’ group, and the Melton-based Defence Animal Training Regiment.
Prayers were said to remember the fallen, the Last Post was sounded and memorial crosses planted in the gardens off Wilton Road.
The event served to launch sales of poppies in the borough to highlight the sacrifices made in conflicts over the last century and to support serving men and women, veterans, and their families.
Malcolm ‘Jock’ Bryson, who has run the appeal for many years, said this would be his last year as organiser and he hoped local people would top last year’s impressive total of more than £23,000 with it being 100 years on from when The Armistice was signed in 1918.
He said: “Our collectors will be in the town and the villages and we hope people will support the appeal even more than they normally do.”
Poppy stalls will be set in Melton Market Place on Saturday, on Tuesday market day and the following Saturday (November 10), when there will also be a hog roast, refreshments and a brass band playing wartime music.
Collections will also be made in villages across the borough, including Asfordby, Frisby, Grimston, Old Dalby, Upper Broughton, Nether Broughton, Ab Kettleby, Scalford, Wymondham, Cold Overton, as well in schools and venues such as Stapleford Park Hotel.
Large poppies have been fixed to lamp posts in the town centre with lists of fallen personnel attached to them.