WITH poppies springing up everywhere this centenary year marking the end of the First World War, a group of Herefordshire women has been busy stringing thousands of textile flowers together for a massive installation this spring.

Volunteers from Bridstow Spinners are up to their eyes in poppies as they get to work on contributions from all over the UK and abroad.

So far more than 40,000 poppies have been sent in support of an appeal by Wonderwool Wales, the annual showcase of Welsh wool and natural fibres.

These will go towards a commemorative display at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells on April 28 and 29. Forming a ‘Curtain of Poppies’, this will be on show in Hall 3 where the Royal British Legion will have a stand and collect donations.

The project, launched at the 2017 show, has encouraged today’s community of knitters to recreate the united determination of the women at home during World War 1, who “did their bit” to support the troops overseas by knitting gloves, scarves, balaclavas and socks.

Curtain of Poppies organisers, mother and daughter Olwen and Jane Veevers are delighted at the way the project has caught the imagination of schools, knitting groups, craft groups and individuals.

Olwen, a coloured sheep breeder and needle felt artist who farms at Cross Ash near Abergavenny said: “The poppies are now coming in thick and fast – at a rate of about five parcels a day.

"Some of them are already strung together but we’re also getting thousands that are unhitched.

"The Bridstow Spinners in Ross on Wye deserve a huge thank you.

"Not only have they helped us by making poppies, now several stalwarts are working furiously behind the scenes to sew thousands more on to cords!”

Poppies are being sent in from all over the UK and there have been parcels from Spain, Alaska and other parts of the US. “It has been amazing and quite humbling!” said Olwen, one of the organisers of Wonderwool Wales.