Skies will be lit up by poppies in monument of remembrance

POPPIES will light up the night sky and transform historic Conisbrough Castle into a massive monument of remembrance next weekend.

Illuminated poppy images will be projected onto the walls of the castle between 7pm and 9.30pm on November 11, 12 and 13.

The unusual tribute is thanks to a community grant and the backing of scores of Doncaster people and businesses. 

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Conisbrough Music Fest organisers Steve Pugh and Simon Duffty hit on the idea of doing something special to mark this year’s Remembrance commemorations and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.  

They set about liaising with castle owner English Heritage to project an illuminated poppy display on to the Keep of the Norman building and started fundraising for the £2,000 needed. 

Steve said the project only got off the ground when they applied for a £500 micro-grant from a community fund established by Doncaster Council and distributed by Doncaster West Development Trust.  

“The opportunity to get the micro-grant really set us off because we wouldn’t have gone any further with the idea otherwise,” he explained. 

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They also launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise the remaining money and reached their target in just a few days. 

Crowds of people are expected to gather see the display and an official switch-on will take place each night, with Doncaster paratrooper Ben Parkinson MBE doing the honours on Remembrance Sunday.

Extra money raised through crowdfunding beyond the target total is being donated to the Conisbrough and Denaby branch of the Royal British Legion.  

“Gavin Smithies (castle site manager) has been a great help and the support and interest from the local community has been overwhelming,” said Steve.

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Community groups in Conisbrough and Denaby can apply for grants of up to £500 by downloading an application form from the DWDT website at or collecting a paper copy from The Terrace on Castle Avenue.

The deadline for submission is the last working day of each month and applications are considered by a panel of local residents. 

For more information, call 01709 866466 or email [email protected].