Help needed to create sea of poppies outside fish quay heritage centre
Two North Shields sisters are seeking help to create a sea of poppies outside the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, North Shields Fish Quay, in memory of people who lost their lives at sea during the world wars and others killed in service during past conflicts.
Margaret Sturmey and Sue Myers would like to hear from knitters and craftspeople and are planning informal gatherings at the heritage centre over the next few months to knit or crochet poppies and to share patterns with anyone wanting to make them at home.
These will all take place between 1pm and 2.30pm on:
Friday 21 July
Friday 18 August
Friday 15 September
The sea of poppies will be in place in November, a few weeks after the opening of an exhibition at the Old Low Light in October focusing on North Shields and the Merchant Navy. This will include research about North Shields people who were in the Merchant Navy during the two world wars.
The sisters were inspired to create the display of poppies after looking into their own family history and realising that they lost two grandfathers at sea during WW1 and WW2. Their grandmother’s first husband, a steward on a merchant ship, was torpedoed in 1918 and lost at sea. Her second husband was a fisherman. Many fishing boats and small crafts were requisitioned by the Royal Navy during WW2. Fishermen including Hannah’s second husband was seconded to the Royal Navy and his boat was mined on Dec 23, 1939, with the entire crew of 13 lost.
Sue explained: “It was only when we started looking into family history that we realised both of our grandmother’s husbands died at sea during the two world wars. We thought this would be a fitting way to remember them and others from North Shields whose lives came to a similar end during past conflicts.
“We are pleased that the poppy display will also complement the Merchant Navy exhibition at the Old Low Light which will include war time stories.”
Margaret added: “We will need a lot of help to create a sea of poppies along the railings. People can either join our sessions at the Old Low Light to knit or crochet the poppies or can make them at home and drop them off at the centre.”
Sue and Margaret have a small amount of red wool but are hoping that people taking part may be able to provide their own.
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