REMEMBRANCE: A splash of colour

PEOPLE from around the world are contributing to this year’s Rotherham poppy cascade, which has been hailed as bigger and better than ever before.

The cascade at Rotherham Markets this year includes 22,000 poppies, most of them knitted.

It was officially unveiled, along with the annual Wall of Remembrance, earlier this month with a formal ceremony involving the Royal British Legion.

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The project is masterminded annually by stallholder Ann Savage, pictured above, of Ann’s Candy.

She said she had only wanted a few thousand poppies when she started out and had been shocked by the response.

“We’ve been doing this for five years now,” she said. “We just decided that people needed to be reminded of what we’ve lost.

“We invited everybody and wanted 4,000 poppies originally to go around the black fencing but we ended up with 22,000 poppies.

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“They’ve come all over the world — from Australia, New Zealand and America, South Africa and Pakistan.

“My mum was a big inspiration to me, as well.

“I lost her two years ago. She made 5,000 on her own.

“It’s for everybody. Everybody just needs to come together.

“That’s what the poppy stands for.”

Ann said she was keen to ensure animals that died in the wars were remembered as well.

“The purple poppy is for your horses, dogs and pigeons,” she said.

“I actually made a horse. It took me six months, and I think there are 380 poppies on it.

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“You’ve got to make your poppies and sew them on — I couldn’t get it right so it looks a bit…deformed.”

A lot of people helped Ann to decorate the market before Remembrance Day this year but Ann had special praise for the canvas from a woman with Parkinson’s Disease.

“Sewing stopped her from shaking,” she said.

“While she was doing it, especially the black outline, she didn’t shake.

“This year’s is the best cascade so far because we have a lot more poppies added in.

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“My mum lost her uncles in the war, and as long as I’m here, I’m putting it up every year — they deserved to be remembered.”

Ann is well-known in the community for helping soldiers and said she and Debbie Pearson from VIVID Jewellery took 100 veterans to a Christmas dinner every year.

She is also organising a street party with World War I and II stalls from 10.30am next Saturday, November 19, outside the covered market, with free food and entertainment.

Ann said: “It’s going to be reyt good.”