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Butterfly swarm lands at Harris Museum to begin Armed Forces Day celebrations

Butterfly swarm lands at Harris Museum to begin Armed Forces Day celebrations  Banner Image

Preston Poppies at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Work of more than 1,000 school children goes on display as part of UCLan charity project

A swarm of butterflies has landed on The Harris Museum & Art Gallery marking the start of Preston's Armed Forces Day celebrations.

School children across Lancashire participated in a community art installation, utilising over a mile of poppy silks donated by The Poppy Factory and raising more than £3,000 for charities supporting the British Armed Forces, veterans and families.

The collaborative project with Armed Forces Group, Dig In, The Poppy Factory, Lancashire Infantry Museum, Preston Remembers and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) worked with five primary schools to commemorate and celebrate the British Armed Forces.

Jacky Hohol, Chair of Armed Force Group, said: "Armed Forces Group is here to serve and support veterans and their families and to raise awareness of our services in this way is excellent. We have loved working with so many other groups and will definitely be looking for more opportunities to raise awareness of our services and armed forces."

 

We have loved working with so many other groups and will definitely be looking for more opportunities to raise awareness of our services and armed forces.

"We have a fabulous committee including Lee Griffiths from The Poppy Factory and we're very grateful to have been offered the poppy silks to work with. The schools involved stepped up to the mark very quickly, seeing them have fun whilst learning is fantastic."

School children from Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Weeton Primary School, Peel Park Primary School (Accrington), Lea Community Primary School and St Anthony's Catholic Primary School participated in 'show and tell' workshops with Lancashire Infantry Museum using military objects to bring history to life. The school children created butterflies to be attached to the poppy silks representing life and celebration.

Becky Steel from UCLan's Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership, said: "The idea for Preston Poppies was inspired by artist Cornelia Parker's 'War Room' using poppy silks in an extraordinary display. Our student volunteers along with volunteers from the charities involved have worked incredibly hard to deliver this project in less than three months. In that time we've worked with more than a thousand school children who've put lots of time and effort into designing and creating almost two thousand butterflies put together in this exhibition by military veterans from Dig In.

 

Our student volunteers along with volunteers from the charities involved have worked incredibly hard to deliver this project in less than three months.

"Preston Poppies provided the opportunity for different generations to work together and learn about the important role of our armed forces throughout history whilst developing a prominent art installation based on both remembrance and celebration."

Preston Poppies is sponsored by UCLan, Remec Engineering Services and Preston Remembers.

Debs Walker from Preston Remembers said: "Preston Remembers is pleased to be able to play a small part in this project as remembrance, reflection and respect is at the heart of all we do."

Preston Poppies is exhibited from 17 - 27 June. If people are interested in finding out more about Preston during the First World War they can visit www.prestonremembers.org.uk

Main picture above: 10 Poppy Butterflies
Front row, from left, Becky Steel from UCLan Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership, Keira Tyson, 11, from Lea Community Primary School, Zuanna Stanko, eight, from Holy Family Catholic Primary School and Jacky Hohol chairman of Armed Forces Group Preston. Back row, from left, Donna Rowe-Green from Dig In, Colonel Alan Jolley OBE TD DL Vice Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, the Mayor of Preston Cllr John Collins, John Barnett MBE DL High Sheriff of Lancashire, Russell Hogarth from UCLan and Debs Walker from Preston Remembers.

Becky Steel | 21 June 2016