Silk poppies surround Yorkshire village to mark 75th anniversary of VE Day
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Lynne Hodgkinson, 51, has created a moving tribute incorporating thousands of silk poppies to commemorate the day when the Second World War came to an end in Europe and cheer the community in Fenay Bridge, Huddersfield.
After being inspired by the major art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, which marked one hundred years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War, Lynne told The Yorkshire Post she made the decision to create a special design dedicated to the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
More than 2000 silk poppies were provided by Marilliam Flowers which Lynne and several members of the local community have planted.
"I wanted to do something special," the florist of 30 years said.
"Poppies are quite a dominant part of that and obviously my life is flowers.
"I decided to do my little homage to the Tower of London - that was a huge inspiration that moved me very much."
This year the Government have moved the May Day bank holiday to VE Day to allow Yorkshire and the nation to remember the sacrifices so many made during the Second World War.
Lynne, the founder of Stems Designs, said this year was all the more important for the Yorkshire public and the UK to mark the occasion during these unprecedented times.
"I think VE Day is more important with what's going on in the world right now," she said.
"It's very much more poignant this year."
Aided by mother and daughter team Helen and Stephanie Brook, from The Flower Shop in Lindley, the trio, while keeping social distancing, have also adorned Lynne's apple tree with more than 400 white, blue and red ribbons and 60 Union Jack hanging flower vases.
Two special commemorative poppy wreaths were also made by pupils, of key workers, from Rowley Lane Junior Infant And Nursery School.
The special tribute follows on from previous creations Miss Hodgkinson has displayed for the local community throughout lockdown, including a special tribute to the NHS, to raise money for the "superhero frontline staff after being inspired by Captain Tom Moore's exploits.
"This design is two-fold. It's for what the heroes did for the country 75-years ago," she said.
"Although we had lots of heroes then we also have lots of heroes now working for the NHS and the key workers keeping us all safe.
"So this is my tribute and this is a little bit of my heart. This is my way of saying thank you."
In the pipeline are plans for a special rainbow design created by local children who have been posting their drawings through a "lockdown postbox".
And a commiseration Wimbledon design aimed to cheer up sporting fans after the popular tennis event and British institution was officially called off this summer.
"I want it to be the tree that always keeps on giving," she said.
So impressed are local residents by the affectionately named happy tree, that some have been moved to tears and even taken to changing their daily exercise routines to walk past Lynne and admire her latest design.
Angela Hall, a local Fenay Bridge resident, said: "Everyone is asking "have you seen the tree at the bottom of Spa bottom?"
Despite the happy tree's popularity, Miss Hodginson has urged people not to make unessential trips to see her, and instead follow her Instagram account showing the tree's different set ups, which can be followed here.To donate visit Stem's Happy Tree fundraising page here. Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it. _____________________________________
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