WWI commemoration: 300-foot poppies adorn Pendle Hill

The Colne Commemorates 1918 poppies (courtesy of S&A Photography).
The Colne Commemorates 1918 poppies (courtesy of S&A Photography).
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A huge art installation on the side of Pendle Hill has been revealed, with 300-foot high poppies adorning the Pendle landscape as part of Colne Town Council's commemoration of the WWI centenary.

Already called the biggest secret in Lancashire, the breathtaking artwork - backed by The Heritage Lottery Fund - was installed by artist Philippe Handford and has been unfurled to kick off Colne Commemorates 1918, the denouement of Colne Town Council’s WWI remembrance events.

Made up of almost 900 metres (3,000 ft) of agricultural fleece, the poppies are 168 metres (550 ft) by 91 metres (300 ft) and dominate the view for miles around ahead of the Colne Commemrates 1918 event, which will be staged across multiple venues throughout the town on Saturday, 23rd June.

“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," said Project Coordinator, Ele Jolley. "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.”

A sculptor and environmental artist who was also involved in the Pendle Hill 1612 installation marking the 400th anniversary of the Trial of The Pendle Witches, Philippe said: "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 installation will be dismantled on Sunday, 24th June, with the horticultural fleece made available to Colne’s allotment holders.

For more information on Colne Commemorates 1918, visit www.colnetowncouncil.org.uk or view the programme of events at https://www.facebook.com/events/1415424252097609/permalink/1559193081054058/.