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Royal British Legion Poppy Factory
                 12th November 2021

                                      AWC visit to the Poppy Factory Richmond Friday 12 November 2021


The new Master Allan Fallshaw made a very successful start to his year with a very topical visit to The Poppy Factory in Richmond on 12 November midway between Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday.


25 members attended and were shown a fascinating presentation on the founding of the Factory and its work before admiring some of the many items of memorabilia in the visitor centre.  There was even the opportunity to make one’s own poppy using the design of block invented by the factory’s founder so that a veteran with only one hand would be able to use it.  Some of us found it tricky even with two.


We are all used to seeing the Royal British Legion poppies every year in November, but perhaps we don’t know how it all started.  The Poppy Factory was founded by Major George Howson, a World War I veteran, in 1922 to supply poppies to The Royal British Legion who had adopted the poppy as a symbol of remembrance in 1921; and by doing so to provide employment for veterans injured during the First World War.


Flats were built close to the Factory’s site in Richmond to provide housing for the workers, and recreational facilities provided a caring, family atmosphere for workers and their families.  Poppies and wreaths, in the millions, are still made at the same site, including wreaths for members of the Royal Family to lay at the Cenotaph, each member having their own design of poppy, while the Factory has now extended its work to supporting war veterans who have suffered mental or physical trauma to find employment of all types throughout England and Wales.


It was a fascinating visit and many of us bought mementoes at the visitor centre shop before 24 of us went to lunch at Cote just a short walk away.  


Our thanks to the Master for organising such an excellent event.


Jean Dollimore

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