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Community comes together to create remembrance memorial


Members of the community have worked together to produce a touching tribute to Middleton’s fallen World War I soldiers at Providence Chapel in Middleton.

Volunteers, Jan Eaton-Dykes and Ros Liddle, spearheaded a project to honour the 850 soldiers from Middleton that never returned from the First World War. Students from Hopwood Hall College’s Skills for Life courses along with over 15 other volunteers helped make the two volunteers’ vision come to fruition.

The memorial features 850 poppies made from recycled bottles to signify each soldier that did not return, along with a number of poppies made from recycled pie tins created by the Hopwood Hall College students.

Pictured: Skills for Life students and the recycled poppies they created

Jan Eaton-Dykes said of the project’s journey:

“We started this project all the way back in April after lining the fencing with poppies for Middleton in Bloom and to see it all come together has been brilliant. Despite the land being completely overgrown originally, we have managed to finish it on time thanks to the help we have received from so many people in the community.

“Seeing so many passers-by stop and take pictures of the memorial makes you feel really proud, it’s a really fitting tribute to those who gave everything they had for us.”

Pictured: The finished memorial at Providence Chapel

Ros Liddle added:

“We have to thank Rochdale Borough Council and the land owners, without their permission we wouldn’t have been able to do this. This is a tribute for those who didn’t return and I think it’s been really good for the town to have something to come together over in memory of the fallen.

“We’ve had so much support from people on social media and around the town, it’s been nice to see how many people care. So many people have helped us, we’ve credited everybody on the Old Middleton New Middleton Facebook page.”

Pictured: Providence Chapel before the memorial

Hopwood Hall College offered their students’ help in the project. They recycled pie tins from chip shops to create over 100 tin poppies for the memorial, something Skills for Life lecturer, Mandy Fletcher, was proud to be a part of:

“Our students loved getting involved in the project and helping to source the 850 bottles needed to create those poppies. For the poppies we actually made, students in wheelchairs ran over the tins to crush them whilst others painted them into the touching tribute displayed now, we’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of their work popping up all over social media.

“Jan and Ros do so much voluntary work around the town so it’s nice to see them get a lot of recognition for their efforts.”

Pictured: The finished memorial at Providence Chapel