THE BIGGEST secret in Lancashire has finally been unfurled today to begin Colne Commemorates… 1918, the denouement of Colne Town Council’s Great War remembrance events.
Backed by The Heritage Lottery Fund, this magnificent installation by artist, Philippe Handford, is of a breathtaking scale. The poppies, which now dominate views for many miles, are 168 metres (550 ft) by 91 metres (300 ft). and are made up of almost 900 metres (3,000 ft) of agricultural fleece.
Colne Commemorates…1918 will be staged across multiple venues throughout the town on Saturday, 23rd June. Project Co-ordinator, Ele Jolley, explained: “This is the most ambitious of our three event series run by Colne Town Council. In 2014, we focussed on recruitment, while in 2016 we added a schools’ outreach programme and shifted our commemoration to the home front during The Battle of the Somme.
“We wanted a really big symbol to begin our final event, which is being held a century on from the last 100 days of World War One. Philippe’s design more that meets that initial criteria. We hope it will become lodged in the collective memory of East Lancashire and Yorkshire folk as they remember the enormous sacrifice made by their predecessors 100 years ago.”
Philippe Hanford is a sculptor and environmental artist who was behind the Pendle Hill 1612 installation marking the 400th anniversary of the Trial of The Pendle Witches. He commented: “I am an artist that finds challenges in location, environment and natural materials and my work attempts to achieve a fine balance between design and the practicalities of mechanical considerations.”
The Pendle Hill Poppy Installation will be dismantled on Sunday, 24th June and the horticultural fleece will be made available to Colne’s allotment holders.
For more information on Colne Commemorates… 1918, please visit www.new.colnetowncouncil.org.uk or follow Colne Town Council on Facebook or Twitter (@ColneTown). Here is a link to the Colne Commemorates… 1918 programme: https://www.facebook.com/events/1415424252097609/permalink/1559193081054058/