UK's best independent post office raises hundreds with poppy display

A small, traditional village post office has raised hundreds of pounds for the Royal British Legion after a poppy appeal with a difference.

By Tony Gillan
Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 4:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 11:12 am
West Boldon residents in the village post office with some of the poppies they created.
West Boldon residents in the village post office with some of the poppies they created.

West Boldon Post Office was at the centre of the initiative, as it issued pledge forms around the village, which were printed free of charge. Anyone could put up a giant poppy in memory of a loved one, who needn’t necessarily have been in the armed forces.

In 2018 the Friends of East Boldon Parks decorated their village of with the poppies on lampposts and street furniture, raising a lot of money for the Legion in the process.

Residents in neighbouring West Boldon mentioned to Katie and Sean Hudson, who run the post office, that they too wanted to be involved in 2019 and bring the poppies right through from East to West Boldon.

The West Boldon sign was just one part of the village to be decorated with a giant poppy.

So donations were taken from residents who completed a sheet with their details and the name of the family member or friend they wanted to remember. Money was then spent on materials to make the poppies, with anything left over going to the Legion.

Polypropylene was cut and then the black centres put in. A team of volunteers came out on a very wet Monday evening to meet at the local pub, The Black Horse, where they assembled the poppies.

They then went out in horrible November weather to put them up through the village. West and East Boldon were linked with a continuous stream of red along the three miles of connecting road.

Both villages were decorated with the 14-inch wide poppies.

West Boldon Post Office is at the heart of the village. Katie and Sean only took over in April 2017, but soon transformed the business.

The couple are delighted with how their poppy appeal went.

Sean said: “It was a bit nip and tuck. But so far, after expenses, the cost of polypropylene and cutting, we’ve raised more than £800.

“Not bad for a tiny post office at the heart of more than one community now and uniting East and West.”