Saturday 11 November 2017

Armistice Day

Today two minutes silence are observed at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month to remember when hostilities formally ended following more than four years of battle during World War 1 - poppies are worn as a symbol of respect. 
In Cheltenham Spa Town Hall 9,000 individually handmade poppies - some knitted, others made from fabric - have been draped to form a waterfall in one of the buildings smaller entrance halls.
The Spa Well situated in this small hallway features an octagonal counter complete with Doulton Ware inserts and urns. This originally dispensed Spa Water transported from the splendid Regency Pittville Pump Rooms in Cheltenham. Unfortunately, these health giving waters, which were so sought after by wealthy Regency visitors, are now only available to sample at Pittville. Health waters, which once tasted, will almost certainly ensure that you will not return for more!!!
Unlike most town halls, this building is a public venue and not the seat of the borough council, which is housed in the nearby municipal offices.  
The hall was built at the turn of the c20th to accommodate the many balls and concerts which featured in the town's extensive social calender. Cheltenham Town Hall was quite literally built for celebrations.
Today the Town Hall is used for concerts, banquets, meetings, dances, balls, exhibitions, conferences and is one of the major venues for the many Cheltenham festivals held throughout the year. 
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium


  1. A wonderful way of exhibit the poppies.

  2. What an amazing and beautiful display of respect. I have read the poem before, but it always gives me chills

  3. What a fitting tribute displayed in such a beautiful building.
    Great Uncle Victor died Fromelles 19th July, 1916. 'We will remember them'

  4. So beautiful and I just love the poem...
    Hug from Titti

  5. Hello Rosemary, I love that this is an active act of remembrance, making and displaying the flowers, thus keeping alive the memory of the soldiers' valor in addition to the more permanent tributes set up in parks and other public buildings.

  6. What a beautifully arranged tribute. I am glad your country has kept that tradition and still people wear the poppy on this day.

    Somewhere way back in my memory, I remember people wearing them here in the US too. I must have been four or five the last time I saw poppies sold to be worn for Armistice Day. I wonder how we lost that? I will never forget and will be forever grateful. My grandfather fought in WW1 in France. My dad in WW11.

  7. Beautiful display, if we ever forget the sacrifices made we will have lost an important part of ourselves.

  8. Lovely to see creative uses of poppies to keep the idea in the public eye. I didn't write in my post about the Ulster Museum's wonderful waterfall of poppies outside the front door as unfortunately I couldn't get a good photo of it.

  9. I caught my breath seeing this amazing display of love and thanks to those who are there in Flanders fields, forever!
    The counter must be lovely, and the Doulton urns are spectacular.....such a shade of cobalt blue, priceless I'm certain!

    Rosemary, thanks for sharing this on such a special day - which was also my parents wedding day in 1942 so brings special memories for me.

    Hope you are well and life is good.
    Hugs - Mary

  10. Dear Rosemary,
    A beautiful way to remember those who gave everything. Whenever I see these simple poppies blooming in the wheat fields, I remember the first time this haunting poem was read to me by a very special friend.

  11. This is a beautiful poppy display honouring the fallen. The waterfall of poppies is dramatic and evocative of their sacrifice. I think every Canadian child had to memorize In Flanders Fields in school. I still remember it.

  12. The waterfall of poppies is a beautiful idea, and a stunning effect. Thank you for reminding me of In Flanders Fields too. Lest we Forget.

  13. A wonderful creative tribute with these poppies.

  14. Certainly the poppies look beautiful in this display.
    We here at home held our 1 minute silence even the 3 little grandchildren, then came the questions why!

  15. What a wonderful flow of poppies !

  16. That is a beautiful way to commemorate the fallen. We have had plastic poppies attached to lamp posts here this year. Although it is very eye catching I do wonder where all that plastic is going to end up!I much prefer the display you have shared with us. Sarah x


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