Thousands of poppies create stunning Remembrance display at Hebburn Cemetery

A South Tyneside cemetery has been transformed into a stunning tribute to the fallen ahead of this weekend’s Remembrance Sunday service.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 5:00 am

A team of volunteers has worked to produce a variety of displays at Hebburn Cemetery, while members of the local community have spent months producing thousands of hand-made poppies to decorate the cemetery’s railings.

John Stewart is a founder member of the Friends of Hebburn Cemetery and the group’s chairman. He has been delighted with the support from local people this year: “It is the community that makes the poppies all year round and we have got more than 18,000 of them this year,” he said.

The railings have been covered with poppies for their entire length.

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"It is right down the road, all the way down Victoria Road to Hospital Drive is covered with poppies,” said John.

In the cemetery grounds, flags and models pray tribute to all branches of the forces – and not just the human ones.

"We have got a war horse, we have got Spitfires and we have got two cut outs of HMS Kelly,” said John.

It was impossible to say how many people had contributed to the display overall, with families coming down to add their poppies to the fences themselves.

Volunteers Millie Venus and Karen Collins (R) with chairman John Stewart.

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"Some people sew them, some people crochet them and some people even make them out of the bottom of pop bottles,” said John.

"It is hard to know exactly how many people have been involved because some families will come down with a bag of 12 poppies and put them out, and some will come down with a bag of 200,” he added.

"There were probably about 12 people involved in putting the displays together.”

Poppies line the fence

The friends group was set up four years ago, after the cemetery was the subject of a sickening attack: "It was after the cemetery got vandalsied,” siad John.

“The vandalism was shocking and that is why the group got together.

“We work very well with the borough council – South Tynesiode Council has been very, very good to the group. They work very closely with us and are very helpful.”

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