A couple of years ago, the national Royal British Legion had Poppy Man, a more than life-sized figure covered completely with poppies, as the theme of their publicity campaign during the Poppy Appeal.
So this year, the local Air Training Corps Cadets decided to build their own Poppy Man.
106 Squadron (Orsett Hundred) ATC play an important part in each year’s Poppy time, collecting at supermarkets and Lakeside. During the last few weeks the cadets set to work at their headquarters at Grays TA Centre, and using chicken wire and papier-mâché constructed Poppy Man. He had two sponges for each foot, and large rubber gloves formed his hands, and then the whole thing was painted red. Stick-on poppies covered most of his body, including forming the words “106 ATC” on his back. He was given a Poppy Remembrance Cross to hold.
On saturday, the last day that the Royal British Legion had its Cenotaph Stand at the Lakeside Shopping Centre, Poppy Man was there too. He stood proudly alongside the table, and children quickly wanted their pictures taken with him, or donated for a poppy which they could stick on him.
Poppy Man was a great success, and will undoubtedly be brought out again next year.