2 November 2018

A Special Morning for Poppy Road (Station Road) 2 November 2018

 This morning the organisers of the Poppy Road Project, that is Aldridge Great War Project and Aldridge Local History Society put on a lovely walk down Station Road. The first to walk were the organisers along with re-enactors from Cannock Chase, David Dunham the sniper, Ron Mathison the soldier and Evelyn Slater the nurse. They drew quite a crowd. Later in the morning they were joined by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Wendy Morton MP and the Aldridge local Councillors.

I got down there early to photograph some of the houses and buildings that have been decorated in the last few days and also to chat with local residents and people who were also walking Poppy Road.

It was a lovely atmosphere and there was much interest. The local air cadets had turned out in force and looked very smart. Other organisations were represented and I apologise for not naming everyone but I didn't get the opportunity to gather all the names but thank you from the people of Aldridge for making the morning such a very special affair.

Following the walk we all enjoyed a warm drink and a cake in The Red Lion were Gail and Bill have made a wonderful effort with the decoration as you will see from the photographs below.

One of the things that has particularly made me think in these last few days has been the silhouettes, the wooden ones representing a young man who died in the Great War and the ones in windows of those who survived. As you walk and see those people represented and honoured now, you see what an enormous impact WW1 had on what was such a small village back then. So many houses missing at least one young man and some houses missing more, for the duration and this is just one road. You realise then the massive sacrifices that everyone in Aldridge made and how village life was affected with their vibrant and lively, young men missing.

Of course many others had their lives affected too, those who now needed to work the land more intensively, those who went to work in munitions factories and there were many in the area and those who now lived in homes missing vital energy and life.

The current residents of Station Road have made this a wonderful tribute to everyone who was there for WW1, serving and non-serving and the efforts of the hundreds of people who knitted, crocheted and crafted are applauded. Thank you.

I thank the organisers of Poppy Road for bringing to life the reality of the life of the village for those who lived 100 years ago. How relieved all those people must have been when the Armistice was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Permission was granted by everyone who is photographed here. You may use my photographs but please mention the blog or my name when doing so. For any commercial enterprises a donation to a charity of your choice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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