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Plans for Marple Poppy Appeal set to be finalised

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British LegionMarpleKevin MurrayMike OpenshawRemembrance Sunday

Plans being finalised for this year's Marple Poppy Appeal

This year, the organisers are hoping for record poppy sales to raise funds for the annual Royal British Legion appeal and are hoping to involve many local businesses and schools.

Former Marple business owner Kevin Murray has taken on the role of Poppy Appeal organiser this year – with the help of ex-fireman Mike Openshaw and octogenarian Ron Townley, who has been organising the appeal on his own for well over 15 years.

Kevin said: “Unfortunately last year Ron was suffering from ill health and so we didn't really have much of a Poppy Appeal in Marple due to circumstances. A lot of people were disappointed but this year we are making sure there is a real Poppy presence in the town for 2017. Ron is delighted that this year he has some help and hopefully we will have a really good year.

Letters have already been sent out to local businesses asking for their help to ensure plenty of poppies are on sale in the Marple, Marple Bridge, Mellor and Compstall areas. Shops and businesses are being asked to take a box of poppies and also a collection tin to place on their counters/reception areas.

Local businesses are also being encouraged to take part in a poppy shop window display to promote interest among the public as they shop.

Marple Poppy Appeal

The nationwide Poppy Appeal only runs for a short time from October to Remembrance Sunday which this year falls on November 12.

Appeal organisers are also looking for volunteers who can spare just one hour to man a Poppy stall in Marple's Asda supermarket. This will be open from 9am to 6pm every day from Saturday to Saturday, November 4 to 11. Anyone who can help with this will be most welcome.

Kevin said: “We are also looking for some local businesses to ‘sponsor a street poppy’ which are large poppies fitted onto lamp posts to help demonstrate the support of the Marple area. If you have a business and would like to find out more about his initiative please contact the Poppy Appeal organisers.

“2017 marks the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele, where over half a million soldiers lost their lives in the First World War. A hundred years later, it remains one of the most horrific battles in the history of mankind. ”

“The Poppy Appeal is about remembering the brave men and women, who throughout the years in conflicts all over the world, have sacrificed their lives so that we have the freedom we enjoy today.”

Kevin said poppy wreaths are sometimes difficult to source so if you would like one, please contact the appeal organisers and they will try to help. Kevin became interested in the Poppy Appeal because of his late father Peter Murray who served in the Durham Light Infantry.

“We are hoping for really good support in Marple and surrounding areas this time and hopefully to engage more of the younger generation to understand what happened over the years in the various conflicts. We have plans for a gazebo in Market Street, Marple which will hopefully host a remembrance art exhibition on the two Saturdays before Remembrance Sunday, November 4 and 11,” he said.

All money raised with the Marple appeal will go direct to the Royal British Legion for their work with ex-servicemen and women.

If you can help in any way, please get in touch by email at poppyappeal@marple-uk.com or by telephone: 07954 388782.