Finishing touches to iconic Poppy installation

THE final preparations for the stunning Poppies: Weeping Window will be made at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall on Friday 6 November.

The moving installation of thousands of ceramic poppies opens to the public on Saturday (7 November), giving people the chance to see up-close a section of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red which was created to mark the centenary of the First World War and was originally at HM Tower of London in 2014.

The poppies are in the city as part of a UK-wide tour organised by 14-18 NOW who are the national organisers of the First World War Centenary Cultural Programme.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, 14-18 NOW Director Jenny Waldman artist Paul Cummins who created the original concept behind the Poppies and Tom Piper who designed the installation will plant the final poppies of the 6,000 which makes up the installation.  They will be joined by Lyn Newsham who has volunteered to be one of the Event Ambassadors who will welcome visitors to the piece of art which is on display until 17 January 2016.

Lyn applied for the role as she feels a deep connection with the city and the poppies as both her grandfathers were part of the Liverpool Pals regiment during World War One and signed up at St George’s Hall.

The Poppies coming to Liverpool has been made possible thanks to the support from city partners including City Central BID, Liverpool ONE and Merseyrail.

Throughout the ten weeks there will be a participation programme called Who Will You Remember? This will enable people of all ages to learn more about the monuments, buildings, exhibitions and archives of the city and the parts they played in conflicts, encouraging personal remembrance and reflection and inspiring a debate.

It will see a series of free and ticketed musical events, workshops and performances taking place in and around the Hall. For full details of all the events visit www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/poppies.

There is also a Poppy Trail which comprises of more than 20 locations throughout the city, with a specially designed map signposting people to memorials and buildings of historic interest which highlight Liverpool’s links with World War One.

The Culture Liverpool team are encouraging everyone who comes to see the Poppies, or takes part in the participation programme, to join in the online conversation. When posting any pictures of comments, always use the hashtag #PoppiesTour as this will then be shared on the main 14-18 NOW website. Or, upload your photos via www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/join-the-conversation and they will be included in an online gallery.

For the latest information visit www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/poppies, follow @culturelpool on Twitter, or Like Culture Liverpool on Facebook.

What they said:

Mayor Anderson

“The anticipation around the Poppies coming to Liverpool has been building for some time and I’m honoured to help put the finishing touches to this iconic display.

“Planting the final poppy will be an emotional moment and its significance will not be lost on anyone.

“Throughout its ten week run in Liverpool, tens of thousands of people will head to the Hall not only to see this beautiful piece of art, but also to reflect on those who have lost their lives in conflict.

“Remembrance Sunday will be particularly poignant and we hope that large crowds join us at the Cenotaph for this important annual service.”

Jenny Waldman, 14-18 NOW Director

“14-18 NOW are delighted to present Weeping Window in Liverpool at St George’s Hall as part of a tour giving people right across the UK the chance to experience these iconic poppies in places which have a particular First World War resonance.   From the very start of the centenary, we have seen how artists have the power to connect people of all ages with the First World War. The poppies are the perfect example of this, such a powerful way to keep alive the impact of the war 100 years ago.”

Lyn Newsham, Event Ambassador

“The poppies are such a powerful image and I am so proud that I can be part of this poignant and historical event, which again will bring Liverpool into the national spotlight. I feel privileged and honoured.

“Both my grandfather’s fought in the First World War, with both being in the Liverpool Pals.  They both were injured so my depth of feeling for past and present conflict has threaded through my life.”

Bill Addy, Chief Executive of Liverpool BID Company

“Everyone involved in supporting something this beautiful which will captivate untold thousands and make them think and want to learn more about WW1 and Liverpool’s role, should be very proud and feel very fortunate to have that opportunity.

“Weeping Window is a marvellous tribute to all who made the ultimate sacrifice in WW1, and so fitting for Liverpool as many who signed up to fight on the fields of Belgium and France did so in the shadow of this great building. The poppy trail will only enrich the experience and deepen the meaning of such a pivotal time in our history.”

Chris Bliss, Estate Director Liverpool ONE

“On behalf of Liverpool ONE I can say that we’re honoured to support such a poignant memorial as Weeping Window in remembering those who fought so bravely in WWI.

“Poppies are so symbolic of remembrance and having this iconic sculpture at St George’s Hall will show visitors the true warmth and compassion that we as a city have.”