Exmouth’s poppies are up! But can you help dry them when the display comes down?

Poppies in their thousands now hang outside a church in Exmouth and talk has turned to how they can be dried and stored for future use.

More than 80,000 handmade poppies have been draped from the Tower Street Methodist Church ahead of tomorrow’s official launch (Monday, November 4) at 1pm, where all are invited along.

It is hoped the poppies can be reused but space is needed to dry the display before it can be packed away.

Stacey Waterhouse, who thought up the idea for Exmouth’s poppy cascade, is appealing for the town to help preserve the poppies and come forward with a suitable area where, once it is taken down, the display can either hang or lay flat to dry.

Stacey, 39, of Rosebery Road, said: “I am relieved it’s up. It’s been a long last year but we have got to keep thinking forward. It just doesn’t stop now it’s up.

“We have got to consider how we are going to dry it before it can go into storage.

“That’s the next dilemma. It’s not something we thought about previously.

“We are going to need to be able to dry them out for further use.

“We don’t want to keep them in storage. It would be nice for them to have a continuous life and not just live on a shelf.

“To dry it out we going to need to be able to lay it out flat because if it’s folded on itself it could mold

“Ideally we would need somewhere to hang it. We are going to have to put our heads together.”

The Poppy Ladies of Exmouth have spent untold hours crafting poppies and attaching the many thousands of flower donations received locally and from across the globe.

The blanket of poppies went on display the end of last week, draped from the front of Tower Street Methodist Church.

Town crier Roger Bourgein rang out a congratulatory welcome and Exmouth mayor, Cllr Steve Gazzard, said the display was ‘superb’.

Tomorrow, Monday, at 1pm, the Poppy Ladies of Exmouth will showcase the display to the town and have invited all along to celebrate, saying ‘the more the merrier’.

Keen crafter Stacey said public reaction to the poppy display has been ‘awe’.

She said: “Our vision of what it would look like has changed so many times since the initial idea.

“I visualised about 500 poppies. I never imaged it would get so big once the poppies came in. But I am more than pleased with how it’s turned out.”

She added: “It all went up quite well until the storm on Friday night. There are few more holes than we would have liked but we can’t do anything about that now.”

The Poppy Ladies of Exmouth hope visitors will come from across East Devon to see the display and donate to the Royal British Legion.

They thanked all who had given their time to help with the poppy project, including Apex Scaffolding and Exmouth in Bloom.

If you are able to offer a space to dry out the poppy display, contact Stacey Waterhouse via the Facebook page Handmade Poppies of Exmouth.

  • Watch Stacey Waterhouse’s video of the poppy display going up and the speeches made by Exmouth’s mayor and town crier.

A little over a year ago I had an idea. With the help of a fantastic team of ladies, the amazing community we live in and knitters from across the country, our poppy display is now up!! There are far too many people to thank in one post, but the roll of honour will be going up as soon as it is printed. I still can’t quite believe it’s up! We still have a few things to do over the weekend, ready for our official launch on Monday!! EXMOUTH!! WE DID IT ?

Posted by Stacey-anne Waterhouse on Friday, 1 November 2019


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