North Staffordshire Women’s Institute group – ‘Let’s Make Jam’ – are once again leading the pack with their hard work and support for the local community.
Members of their subsidiary craft group ‘Jammie Hookers’ regularly support local causes, and were looking for a big and meaningful project that they could all get involved in. After careful consideration of many suggested projects, it was finally agreed at the end of August 2021 that the suggestion of a large Poppy display for a local church would be their next challenge.
Mags Johnston who suggested the Poppy Installation, said: “I remember as a child, going to Sunday School and then attending the service at the Cenotaph outside Hanley Town Hall. To be involved with the Poppy Display designed and made by members of Let’s Make Jam WI, has been an honour and privilege. The camaraderie, fun, humour, hospitality and well just being the best – It works like a well-oiled machine. Working together we have achieved the most amazing display, incorporating thousands of poppies, all made by members, in all shapes, sizes, colours and mediums. It will be one display not to be missed.”
The display, which has has been authorised by resident Vicar Patrick Griffin, at St Margaret’s Church, Church Lane in Wolstanton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, will be adorn the external walls and fencing by the cenotaph.
Mirroring the camaraderie displayed in the early days of the Suffragette movement, the ladies assembled, recruiting others from outside of the Jammy Hookers group, each with their own powerful reasons for wanting to support such a cause. The crochet, knitting and craft group who meet on the first Thursday of every month, outside of their usual meetings, started work at the start of September 2021 and successfully made over 1000 poppies in little over 1 month, before beginning the mammoth task of assembling the display nets.
New Member Pauline Forrester adds: “This year I’ve crocheted 237 poppies which have been split between Let’s Make Jam’s poppy display and Meir Matters. I have made them in memory of my husband who was in the 237 squadron of the Royal Logistics Corps. Until he died in 2020, he was the Poppy Appeal organiser for MHF01 North Staffordshire and the Secretary of the Meir Longton Royal British Legion Branch.”
The team are continuing to make poppies to ensure the maximum impact from the rivers of poppies featured on the display and the ladies are hopeful their display will be a reminder of the importance of peace, acceptance and support.
The display was assembled on Sunday 31 st October, and is expected to remain in place throughout November and will be visible for Remembrance Sunday on 14 November.
Let’s Make Jam member Rosie Howe said: “Remembrance Sunday has always been important to our family. We always observe the two minutes silence. My dad who was a submariner and a commander in the Sea Cadet Corps for many years, always went out on parade. It’s been a pleasure for me to make a small contribution to this wonderful display. I have kept a poppy back to take to my dad on that day.”