PONTARDDULAIS town centre will turn red as it is adorned with thousands of poppies as part of a Festival of Remembrance organised by the community.
The centre-piece of the activities is a massive cascade of 10,000+ poppies which have been made in different styles and materials by members of the community including school children.
The poppy cascade is a tribute to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and will be displayed in the area around the Cenotaph in Pontarddulais.
The festival was the idea of the Pontarddulais Partnership, with the concert Pontarddulais Town Band and local charity the Pontarddulais Partnership, supported by grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Ty Cerdd.
Pontarddulais Town Council have also been instrumental in this project and have provided funding for several elements. Activities will encompass history, art, music, culture, events and education including:
- A remembrance concert featuring a specially commissioned composition, performed by Pontarddulais Town Band. Local schools and choirs will also perform at the concert together with guest artistes.
- Lamp-posts dressed with large poppies, with each poppy bearing the name of a fallen soldier from the village.
- A pop-up museum and exhibition focusing on the impact of war on home life and stories of the soldiers.
- An Armistice Day parade and Service of Remembrance at St Michaels Church.
- Art created by local school children with the support of artist Nathan Wyburn.
- The completion of repairs and restoration to the Cenotaph and the addition of new and refurbished bench seating where visitors can pause to reflect and remember.
- Commemorative window displays in local shops and businesses.
A new branch of the Royal British Legion has been formed as a result of the project and Mr Anthony Pitman, the Chairman has said: “With great help from my Secretary, Mr Kelvin Williams and the committee, we have reformed the Royal British Legion Pontarddulais Branch and are looking forward to helping service men and women, veterans and their families in the local community”.
The festival has engaged a new generation of young people in the act of remembrance. Students led the work to research fallen soldiers from the village and visited Swansea Waterfront Museum to learn about exhibiting historical memorabilia.
The activities have been made possible through the support of a team of dedicated volunteers including community groups, a local charity, local school children, community members and local businesses.
Catherine Evans of The Pontarddulais Partnership who is also a Town Councillor said: “Its been inspiring to see so many people, including school children, give their time to the project. It’s been a true community effort and I feel very proud of the way Pontarddulais has come together to honour those that gave their lives for us. I hope this festival inspires a new generation to come and learn about our history and the contribution that people from this area made.”
Visitors are encouraged to join in and take part in these poignant acts of remembrance. The village will be dressed in poppies in the run up to Armistice Day.
The exhibition at The Mechanics Institute Pontarddulais will open early in November. A sell-out concert of Remembrance takes place at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School on Saturday 10th November.
The poppy cascade will be at the Cenotaph from Tuesday 6th November. The remembrance parade will start at the St John’s Ambulance Hall and will proceed to St Michaels Church and the Cenotaph for the remembrance service on 11th November.
For more information please contact Catherine Evans on 01792 885532.