West London Pelican Crossing Gets Unique Poppy Makeover

The newly-decorated crossing in Richmond is the only one of its kind in the UK and is outside The Poppy Factory.

A pelican crossing in west London has been redesigned with a poppy theme ahead of this year's Armistice Day commemorations.

The walkway across Petersham Road, Richmond, marks the way to The Poppy Factory which employs wounded, injured and sick veterans to create poppies, wreaths and other remembrance products for the Royal British Legion.

The new-look crossing is part of a local programme of remembrance activities ahead of Remembrance Sunday on 8 November.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, Richmond residents are being urged to mark remembrance at home.

Richmond Council is encouraging locals to observe the national two-minute silence and also follow special council videos, pictures and social media coverage.

Alexander Ehmann, chair of Richmond Council's transport and air quality committee, said: "We are immensely proud of our Armed Forces past and present.

"This year's Remembrance Sunday will of course be commemorated, albeit probably in a different way.

"With the safety of veterans and residents the number one priority, we will be asking people to 'remember at home'.

A closer view of the Cenotaph War Memorial on a sunny day in Whitehall, London. Erected after the First World War (WWI) Remembrance Sunday uses the site annually to recognise Armistice Day. Taken 200919 SOURCE BFBS
The public are being urged to stay away from the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday due to coronavirus.

"However, when people are on their way to school, work or their essential shopping, we hope that this vibrant crossing, the only one in the UK, will serve as a timely reminder to people of those who lost their lives or family members."

Meanwhile, the public is also being asked to stay away from the Cenotaph in central London on Remembrance Sunday.

A service at the memorial is expected to go ahead with representatives of the Royal Family, Government and Armed Forces in attendance. Some veterans are also being invited. 

It is the first time the service has been closed to the public and the Royal British Legion veteran march-past will also not take place.

Michael Butlin, Armed Forces Champion for Richmond upon Thames, said: "I am proud that this crossing will be a physical tribute, not just to those who gave their lives, but to those in The Poppy Factory who work tirelessly throughout the year to raise money to help veterans and their families. Lest we forget."

The Poppy Factory has stood in Richmond since 1925.

A major redevelopment of the factory is nearly complete which includes a new visitor experience that is set to open in 2021.

Cover image: Left to right - Jeff Short, general manager at The Poppy Factory; Chris McVeigh, wreath maker at The Poppy Factory; Alexander Ehmann, chair of the transport and air quality committee for Richmond Council; Michael Butlin, Armed Forces Champion for Richmond upon Thames; Ollie Scutts, from contractor Conway. (Picture: Richmond Council).