Queensgate shopping centre to host celebration service to mark Poppy Appeal’s 100th anniversary

A procession and service to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Poppy Appeal is to be hosted by Peterborough’s Queensgate shopping centre.

By Paul Grinnell
Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 1:18 pm
Artist Jeni Cairns in her workshop.
Artist Jeni Cairns in her workshop.

The focal point of the celebration will be a large sculpture of a poppy made from reclaimed materials designed and created by local artist Jeni Cairns.

It contains 1,555 spaces for single poppies - each one representing a solider from Peterborough who died fighting in World War I or World War II.

The procession will start in the city centre at 10.45am on October 29, passing through Central Square outside Primark, before arriving in North Square outside Superdry and Yankee Candle at about 10.50am.

The poppy sculpture being crafted by Jeni Cairns.

During the procession, visitors to the centre will be able to listen to the sounds of the bugle, before a reading led by Major Tony Elsey sharing the history of the Royal British Legion.

Afterwards Reverend George will conduct a service of thanks and remembrance, before the last post takes place at 11am.

As the ceremony closes, all dignitaries in attendance will purchase and place a poppy on the sculpture, which will remain in place in the centre until Remembrance Sunday (November 14).

Mark Broadhead, director of the Queensgate, said: “We’re delighted to hold such a special ceremony here at Queensgate, celebrating the hard work of the Royal British Legion over the past 100 years.

The Queensgate shopping centre. EMN-200615-114819009

“It’s important to us that we support the Royal British Legion and their Poppy Appeal each year, and we extend a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to attend the ceremony and observe the poppy sculpture during its time with us.”