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Community Group's Tribute to Fallen Heroes

A stunning display of handmade poppies has been unveiled in South Shields Town Centre ahead of communities coming together for Remembrance events this weekend.

The commemorative tribute, made up of more than 5,000 woollen poppies, has been mounted around the pulpit, fencing and war memorial in St Hilda's Church in support of the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal, Armistice Day (11th November) and Remembrance Sunday (12 November).

A separate matching display featuring almost 400 flowers has also been placed in the atrium of The Word, National Centre of the Written Word, to help unify the two locations in a joint tribute of remembrance.

Members of the 30-strong Knit and Natter group, which meets at The Word, started creating the poppies in January, after seeing similar displays in other parts of the country during last year's remembrance events. Their activities quickly inspired visitors to The Word, which led to further contributions from the public.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Olive Punchion said: "The poppies look amazing adorning the grounds of St Hilda's and inside The Word.

"They are a wonderful mark of remembrance ahead of events taking place across South Tyneside this weekend and a fitting tribute to our Armed Forces community and all those who sacrificed so much for their country.

"The Knit and Natter group has done an excellent job lovingly handcrafting the poppies and stitching donated poppies into place. Their months and months of hard work has certainly paid off - the display looks fabulous."

The Word's Knit and Natter group member Joy Parker led the project. She said: "Members of the group have been absolutely fantastic. They really took the project to their heart and worked hard all year round to get it finished. The response to it has gone well beyond our expectations. We are delighted with how it took off, but it would not have happened without all our members pulling together.

"We are extremely grateful to all those members of the public who knitted their own poppies and donated them to our cause. We would also like to thank Knit n Purl wool shop for their support with our project."

The Knit and Natter group is a library group, which meets at The Word in South Shields Market Place, on Mondays, from 10am to 11:30am. They previously met at Central Library before moving into the new library and cultural venue which opened last year.

Full details of Remembrance events across South Tyneside are available on South Tyneside Council's website at

For more information about activities at South Tyneside libraries Service, including details of other knit and natter groups, visit Visit The Word, at


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