Poppy Man unveiled in Higham Ferrers ahead of Remembrance Day

Yesterday's unveiling of the Poppy Man in Higham Ferrers
Yesterday's unveiling of the Poppy Man in Higham Ferrers

People will be able to pose for a selfie or just take a moment to reflect next to a new addition to Higham Ferrers’ Market Square.

The Poppy Man, who has been named Harold, was proudly unveiled by members of the Higham Ferrers branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) on a bench outside the town hall yesterday (Tuesday).

He is believed to be one of only two Poppy men in the country created by George Thomas of Hot Metal, with the first one proving very popular on social media when it was launched in Hereford.

The hand-crafted metal sculpture has been covered in about 300 poppies made after recycling the poppies from nine wreaths placed on Higham Ferrers War Memorial last year.

Secretary for Higham Ferrers RBL Joe Granfield had the Poppy Man in Joe’s Bar just down the road for several days before the official unveiling and he said everyone ‘loved it.’

He added: “The poppies are recycled from last year’s wreaths.

The Poppy Man

The Poppy Man

“It’s for people to sit next to, take a selfie and take a moment of reflection.

“He’s interchangeable so we can move him around, and hopefully people will respect him and get their pictures taken with him.”

Within minutes of the unveiling, several people walked past and stopped to say how much they liked it.

Branch chairman Glenn Harwood MBE described the Poppy Man as ‘brilliant’ and added: “2016 is a special year in terms of remembrance with the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and 100 years since the Battle of Jutland.

Higham Ferrers mayor Pam Whiting with the Poppy Man

Higham Ferrers mayor Pam Whiting with the Poppy Man

“We hope the generosity and the continuing generosity of local people will continue in this special year.”

The Higham Ferrers branch of the RBL was relaunched in 2010 and now has about 33 members.

Joe said: “It’s a small branch but everyone is hands on.

“The town deserves to have it.”

It is hoped that the Poppy Man will remain on show throughout the Remembrance period being stored away safely and brought out this time next year and then for many years to come.