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Poppies to be planted throughout Brighton and Hove to create living WWI tribute
5:10am Thursday 30th January 2014 in News
Brighton and Hove roadsides, gardens and bowling greens will be transformed into a sea of red poppies to mark the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.
Thousands of poppy seeds will be planted across Brighton and Hove at the end of March for the poppies to bloom in June for the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the four-year conflict.
Councillors say the plans will be “stunning and poignant” as the living tribute takes hold.
Poppy seeds will be planted in Edward Road, Eastern Road, the former bowling greens in Preston Park and outside Rottingdean bowling green under plans set out by Brighton and Hove City Council.
Grass verges in many housing estates across the city will also be transformed into wildflower gardens while poppies will sprout up around the Old Steine War Memorial, which will become one of the key sites during four years of commemorations.
City council gardeners will plant other red flowers which will then come into bloom as the poppies die out.
Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chair of Brighton and Hove City Council’s economic development and culture committee, said: “The sight of thousands of poppies emerging on wildflower sites across the city will be both stunning and poignant – a fitting way to mark the historic anniversary of the start of the First World War.
“The displays will also highlight the range of other events and commemorations being planned across the city.”
Former RAF pilot Bert Williams MBE said he has spent the past two years “planning without money” for ways to mark the First World War.
He has arranged for 40 people to travel to Belgium in August and will be laying a wreath at the India Gate at the Royal Pavilion on October 26.
He said: “I think the poppies are a brilliant idea. I am so pleased that people are taking it up; it’s so important that what happened is not forgotten.
“To ask questions about what happened is what it’s all about.”
Other remembrance plans include the restoration of the war memorial at Brighton Station and a memorial at Sussex Cricket Club to remember their players who died in action.
There are also plans for a passing through the flames ceremony at the Chattri Memorial to remember Indian soldiers who died at the Royal Pavilion.
The arts will also mark the centenary with productions by the New Venture Theatre of Sir Terence Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy, and Not About Heroes based on the meeting between First World War poets Siegfried Sasson and Wilfred Owen.
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