Legion lines up a 20-stop tour of village

Visitors explore Old Catton Remembers poppy trail in 2019

Visitors explore Old Catton Remembers poppy trail in 2019 - Credit: ARCHANT

A trail featuring previously unheard stories from veterans has been created near Norwich to mark the centenary of the country’s largest armed forces charity.

On the back of its successful Old Catton Remembers poppy trail, the local Royal British Legion (RBL) branch has reunited once again to create the new walk.

Visitors explore Old Catton Remembers poppy trail in 2019

Visitors explore Old Catton Remembers poppy trail in 2019 - Credit: ARCHANT

As well as celebrating the RBL's 100th birthday this month, the walk's launch event will coincide with VE Day.

Lindsay Carruthers, chair of the branch, explained why it was important to organise another trail.

“The Old Catton RBL is now a stand-alone branch, after being a Norfolk county-supported branch for years, and we now have a fully functioning committee," she said.

Visitors explore Old Catton Remembers poppy trail in 2019

Visitors explore Old Catton Remembers poppy trail in 2019 - Credit: ARCHANT

“Our 100th birthday walking trail will include 20 stops featuring the history of the RBL, its work today, then-and-now photographs, the work of admiral dementia care nurses, battle back rehabilitation, and the debt management service, as well as our residential care home in Cromer, telephone buddies, campaigns, and stories of how the legion supports individuals and families.  

Visitors explore Old Catton Remembers poppy trail in 2019

Visitors explore Old Catton Remembers poppy trail in 2019 - Credit: ARCHANT


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“One stop will include the story a committee member who received funding for state-of-the-art hearing aids after his service in the RAF left him deaf.

“It is so important, especially in a village like ours, to spread the word about what we do for serving forces, veterans, and their families, and about branch community support locally.”  

Walter R. Smith, of Old Catton, pictured during his time in armed forces

Walter R. Smith, of Old Catton, pictured during his time in armed forces. His story featured in the Old Catton Remembers poppy trail - Credit: ARCHANT LIBRARY

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The trail opens on Saturday, May 8, at 11am on the Recreation Ground in Old Catton and will remain in place for a fortnight.  

Mrs Carruthers added: “We will have county legion officers on hand to give advice, music from each decade of the last 100 years, Carey’s Coffee Box and refreshments, a children's quiz, fun packs, and more."

A member of Old Catton RBL helping with poppy decorations ahead of the branch's new walking trail

A member of Old Catton RBL helping with poppy decorations ahead of the branch's new walking trail - Credit: OLD CATTON RBL

A member of Old Catton RBL helping with poppy decorations ahead of the branch's new walking trail

A member of Old Catton RBL helping with poppy decorations ahead of the branch's new walking trail - Credit: OLD CATTON RBL

Local care homes and schools, including Lodge Lane Infants, Garrick Green Infants, and the Hall School, have been involved in decorating recycled plastic poppy leaves. They have been professionally spray-painted by Satys Air Livery to form a 100th birthday poppy garden in Austen Way.

Poppy decorations for the branch's new walking trail

Poppy decorations for the Old Catton RBL's new walking trail - Credit: OLD CATTON RBL

Poppy decorations for the Old Catton RBL's new walking trail

Poppy decorations for the Old Catton RBL's new walking trail - Credit: OLD CATTON RBL

Staff at Morrisons, at The Paddocks, have donated around 100 children's goodie bags.

Goody bags have been donated by Morrisons

Goody bags have been donated by Morrisons - Credit: OLD CATTON RBL

Donations for the RBL Old Catton branch will be welcomed on the day.

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