Secret Knitters appear in front of Camouflage-Netting?
During the Lockdowns, our Waterbeach and Landbeach crafters quietly knitted and crocheted 5,000 Remembrance Poppies. Our village war-memorials were due centenary commemorations – and these were linked to 2021’s Royal British Legion centenary. The Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, site of the Waterbeach memorial, hosted the resulting poppy-festooned camouflage-netting panels this year; next year the panels travel to its sister church of All Saints’, Landbeach.
The rectangular, traditional panels owe much to older and isolated members of our villages. Poppies came, too, from Waterbeach WI, Waterbeach Wives, and Landbeach Knit and Natter circle. Many were knitting in their own memories and reflections: one knitter created a poppy for each name on the Waterbeach memorial but also commemorated an uncle.
Two modern-day, triangular panels also featured, with substantial contributions from Waterbeach Primary School who exercised their own courage to create 80 poppies out of red rip-stop fabric; and from GirlGuiding who exercised problem-solving skills to fix poppies onto camo-net in a weather-proof way!
Contributors have also come from diverse walks of life. A busy bride-to-be; a vet; food-bank activists; academics – all found time to input and switch-on. Contributions also came from across the UK, including Doncaster, Ullapool, and a village near Lands End, Cornwall!
|Behind all this positivity lie some deep thoughts. As hands have worked, minds have reflected on how the Spanish Flu pandemic wreaked heartbreak and losses, as the First World War did. ‘We would have known them: the village was so small’, comments one Waterbeach Parish Councillor. On the day of the unveiling of the memorial, the churchyard was too small to hold all the mourners; they had to stand outside, lining the streets to the train-station. Similar attendance marked this more recent event.
We aimed to create these installations in a sustainable way: if your community group or place of worship would like to borrow them, let us know!
Angela Brown, and Jane Oakes, LLM, for the Waterbeach and Landbeach Parish Churches. firstname.lastname@example.org 07884465648.