Parade launches Peterborough poppy appeal

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris
The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

Peterborough’s annual poppy appeal got underway in style on Saturday, and demand is so high that stock is already running low.

Veterans marched in a parade from the Town Hall in Bridge Street to Queensgate Shopping Centre at approximately 9.15am, where the song ‘Poppy’ was played by Peterborough group Skyfight.

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

CDs of the song are now available from the caravan run in Bridge Street by George and Catherine Bennett, organisers of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough.

The married couple have been in charge of the Royal British Legion’s appeal in the city since 2001 and have helped raise over £1 million alongside their dedicated team.

And even since Saturday demand for poppies and lapels is proving exceptionally high.

Catherine said: “The general public have been absolutely fantastic and Queensgate bent over backwards for us.

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

“On Saturday we had Tony Francis in Queensgate and in his bucket was £1,583. And that’s just the first day!

“The only problem is we are running out of stock. The British Legion appeal is becoming more and more popular. We have lapel pins with the year on and people want to collect them.

“People are going mad on poppy stuff.”

Last year more than £123,000 was raised from the appeal in Peterborough, and Catherine is hoping to better that by dying her hair “poppy red” to encourage donations.

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

It follows George’s effort last year when he went 309 days without having his hair cut, before it was shaved off at the front of the Town Hall.

While George and Catherine are raising money in Bridge Street, a poppy shop is operating in Queensgate until next weekend.

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris

The launch of the Poppy Appeal in Peterborough - Photo: Terry Harris