Poppy tribute stands proud after 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War

Ray Spencer MBE, executive director of The Customs House (centre) with members of The Materialistics (l-r) Mary Wilson, Jenny Hunt, Jean Thornton and Margaret East, next to the framed poppies.
Ray Spencer MBE, executive director of The Customs House (centre) with members of The Materialistics (l-r) Mary Wilson, Jenny Hunt, Jean Thornton and Margaret East, next to the framed poppies.

A touching tribute to the war dead which marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War is still being displayed proudly at a South Tyneside theatre.

Volunteers from craft group The Materialistics created four fabric poppies, which are hung on the chimney stack opposite The Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields.

Each framed poppy has been made using various techniques, including knitting, quilting and proggy.

Ray Spencer MBE, executive director of The Customs House, said: “I am delighted that we were able to work with The Materialistics once again.

“It has been far too long since their last project with The Customs House and it is great to welcome them back.

“The volunteers and local companies who have made this project possible should be commended.

“It is a fitting tribute to those who gave their yesterdays for our tomorrows. I am so proud of what they have done.”

The Materialistics are a group of knitters and stitchers, ranging from novices to experts.

The group formed in 2009, during the Coat For A Boat, which was followed by several other successful projects and exhibitions, including Follow The Herring and A Grand Tour.

Their latest project has been a year in the making and around 600 small poppies have been created by more than 20 members, which have been attached to the fabric to create the larger poppies.

Member Jean Thornton said: “It is amazing to see them in situ. It makes all the knitting of hundreds of poppies worthwhile!”

The project was supported by The Customs House, South Tyneside Council, Bowmer and Kirkland and Ashley Timber.