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Cascade of poppies launches 2013 RBL appeal
A CASCADE of petals rained down from Worcester’s Guildhall to mark the start of this year’s Poppy Appeal.
Crowds gathered on Saturday including Mayor of Worcester Pat Agar, representatives of the Royal British Legion (RBL), veterans and cadets, for the poignant service to mark the start of the fund-raising appeal.
Members of the RBL riders branch were also there with their motorbikes.
A silence descended on the High Street as David Waldron, chairman of the Worcestershire RBL, began the service and thanked everyone who had attended.
“The Poppy Appeal is a major source of revenue for the RBL Benevolent Fund,” he said.
“With your help, the Poppy Appeal will continue to change lives. Last year the good people of Worcestershire raised more than half-a-million pounds. I would like to think that this year, we can do one better.”
The mayor said: “This marks the start of our season of remembrance.
“I’m sure it’s a very emotional occasion for many of us.
“I think we really need to thank the RBL for all they do to support the members of the Armed Forces and their families when they are injured.”
A bugler sounded the Last Post, before thousands of poppy petals fell on to the crowds below from the top floor of the Guildhall as a two-minute silence was observed.
Laurence Binyon’s poem, For the Fallen, was read out before Sergeant Chloe Brown, of Halesowen Air Cadet Training Corps, gave a short reading.
Martin Edgeworth, who has been a member of the Worcester city branch of the RBL for eight years, will be selling poppies for the next two weeks at CrownGate shopping centre.
“The people of Worcester are absolutely brilliant,” he said.
“Last year in CrownGate they raised £4,750. I want to do better this year.”
Harold Massam, chairman of the Worcester branch of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association (WFRA), paid tribute to the work of the RBL.
“They do stirling work,” he said.
“The trouble is a lot of people don’t see what the RBL do.”
Members of the 187 Squadron City of Worcester Air Cadets will be selling poppies on Saturday, November 9, at Tesco, Warndon.
David Brewer, champion poppy seller with 30 years of service, will also be selling poppies outside the Guildhall.
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