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Aylsham students plant poppies for Blickling summer concert commemorating outbreak of First World War

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 April 2014

Aylsham High School students plant poppies

Aylsham High School students plant poppies


Seeds are being sown for a poignant poppy backdrop to a concert commemorating the start of the First World War.

Aylsham High School students watering theri poppy seeds. Aylsham High School students watering theri poppy seeds.

Pots of the symbolic red flowers will adorn the Last Night of the Blickling proms concert in August.

And students at Aylsham High School have begun growing the plants ready to bloom for the event which combines a picnic style classical music with marking the war milestone.

Pupils will have to water the plants carefully every day and the seedlings should appear in around four to six weeks. They will then be planting them out into pots, from where they will flourish to produce a vibrant display of colour.

Graham McDonald from North Walsham Garden Centre who is helping the pupils said: “It’s great for these pupils to be learning how to grow and look after plants; it’s a very rewarding pastime.”

The youngsters are Year 7 and 8 pupils all part of the Aylsham Eagles, a small supportive group which also has a focus on emotional and social development as well as academic progress.

School spokesman Jane Kennedy said the group was really looking forward to learning about how to grow poppies and the importance of what they stood for.

The remembrance poppy has been used since 1920 to commemorate soldiers who have died in war. Inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields, they were first used by the American Legion to commemorate soldiers who died between 1914–1918 before being adopted by other military veterans’ groups.

The proms concert on August 9 is by the Sinfonia Viva orchestra and will include a nostalgic sing-along of some of the best-loved songs from the Great War era, including It’s a long way to Tipperary, Keep the Home Fires Burning and Pack up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag.

The event, supported by the EDP, also has a choreographed air display by the Grace Spitfire and a fireworks finale following a second half of rousing sounds including Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory.

Tickets (£33 in advance or £36 on the night) are available online at or call the box 01263 734711; group discounts up to 20pc are available. No booking fees and car parking is free.

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