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The pelican crossing outside The Poppy Factory in Petersham Road Richmond has had a ‘poppy’ uplift just in time for Remembrance Day 2020.

A poppy-themed crossing has been installed by Richmond Council’s contractors Conway, at the pelican crossing on Petersham Road in Richmond, as part of a programme of activity to mark this year’s Armistice Day.

This unique design will mark the way to The Poppy Factory, which since moving to Richmond in 1925 has employed veterans with health challenges to create poppies, wreaths and other Remembrance products for the Royal British Legion and the Royal Family.

A major redevelopment of the factory is nearly complete, including a new visitor experience that will open to the community in 2021. It will tell the story of The Poppy Factory in Richmond and how it has developed into a national charity that support veterans with health challenges across England and Wales on their journey into all kinds of employment.

The 2020 Remembrance Day will be commemorated across the borough but in a different way than usual because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In line with the national advice, there will be no official parades taking place on Sunday, 8 November 2020.

Instead, residents and veterans will be encouraged to pay their respects at home, by observing the national 2-minute silence and following special Council videos, pictures and social media coverage.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee for Richmond Council, said:

“We are immensely proud of our Armed Forces past and present. This year’s Remembrance Sunday will of course be commemorated, albeit probably in a different way. With the safety of veterans and residents the number one priority, we will be asking people to ‘remember at home’.

“However, when people are on their way to school, work or their essential shopping, we hope that this vibrant crossing, the only one in the UK, will serve as a timely reminder to people of those who lost their lives or family members.”

Cllr Michael Butlin, Armed Forces Champion for Richmond upon Thames, added:

“We owe so much to so many. So, as always, it’s fitting and right that the borough will be paying their respects, but in a different way to normal.

“I am proud that this crossing will be a physical tribute, not just to those who gave their lives, but to those in the Poppy Factory who work tirelessly throughout the year to raise money to help veterans and their families. Lest we forget.”

Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said:

“We are honoured that Richmond Council has chosen to create this crossing in time for the Remembrance period.

“It will also help direct the community towards our fantastic new visitor experience, which we plan to launch in the middle of next year. We look forward to welcoming the Richmond community through our doors.”

There will be a number of services happening around the borough on Remembrance Sunday, and those who wish to attend are recommended to contact the organisers directly regarding any entry arrangements. This includes services at:

  • St Marys Church in Barnes
  • St Andrew’s Church in Ham
  • St Peter’s Church in Petersham
  • St Stephen’s Church in East Twickenham
  • St Philip and James Church in Whitton
  • St James Church in Hampton Hill

– from a Richmond Council press release - 27 October 2020