A RECORD total of almost £14,000 was raised in Blackheath for this year’s Poppy Appeal.

Royal British Legion volunteers collected at Sainsbury’s 12 hours a day for a week, doubling the amount usually given by shoppers there.

Legion branch secretary Mark Spilsbury said the total topped last year’s £13,100 by £800.

Collectors dropped Merry Hill to concentrate on Sainsbury’s, which paid off, netting more than £5,200 said Mr Spilsbury.

But collecting boxes in shops and businesses around the town were also fuller than normal.

Mr Spilsbury said: “Some raised double, which we found quite incredible. I can’t put the increase down to any particular reason, just people’s generosity, for which we are very grateful.”

Extreme Barbers collected £330 – the highest amount for a small business - which Mr Spilsbury described as “astounding” as it was the first year the business had taken a collecting tin.

“It usually takes a few years to build up, so to raise the most was fantastic,” he said.

The former Ashley pub, the legion’s first headquarters in 1923, was the licensed premises to raise the most money for the appeal, in its new guise as the Windmill’s End, with about £80.

Brickhouse Primary School will receive the Arthur Hodgetts Trophy for raising the most per pupil.

Mr Spilsbury added: “The generosity of people locally has been tremendous and we would like to thank everyone who contributed by donating or volunteering, which has helped the annual total increase year on year.”