Bo’ness Cenotaph Poppies 2019
Bo’ness True Blues are a Rangers supporters club which has been going for almost 75 years which transcends above football and give a real focus on the local community. They currently have over 100 members who take pride in supporting local causes. Just last week (w/c/ 28/11/19), they presented a cheque to Strathcarron hospice for £1200. They have donated around £5000 to local causes over the past 3 years and will continue to do so, to make our community better.
They are also the group behind the beautiful painted poppy display around Bo’ness Cenotaph and St Andrews Church, but their story of how this came to be goes further back.
Before last years 100th anniversary of World War 1, Boness True Blues had acknowledged that they wanted to do something to help support Remembrance Day.
The obvious starting point was to take part in the annual ceremony at the Cenotaph, and lay a wreath as a mark of respect to the brave soldiers that gave their life. Once contact was made to explain that the group would like to help, they gained further direction from Ann Ritchie and very quickly had another opportunity to become more involved.
The local Primary School children were looking for materials towards an arts & crafts project to support Remembrance Day so the group gladly donated some money towards this to allow our children to learn about the heroes of years gone by.
Then via Facebook they found out about the display of the silent soldiers as part of the Centenary commemorations. Clear perspex silhouettes of fallen soldiers from the local area which went on display in many locations, namely the old Kirk in Bo’ness. Sadly there was a small shortfall on funds for the display, the group saw this as an excellent opportunity of where they could give further help, so gave a second donation helping the project reach it’s target.
After the 2018 Service of Remembrance, one of their members Steve Heffernan approached the group about doing something again this year. As a club they are committed to raising awareness and after discussions with Ann Ritchie, Steve made contact with Falkirk Council with the idea of painting poppies around the Cenotaph and on the banking behind facing onto the Wynd.
Falkirk Council were very supportive from the first meeting. The group send a thank you to Mike Joyce & Jennifer for keeping them right around health and safety as well as listening to many requests about getting the grass cut. Once they had the support of Falkirk Council the group then started plan on how they could execute this project.
Ultimately with budgets being squeezed even tighter, the group had to gather some further support Locally. Bo’ness resident Kenny Scotland helped with trimming of the grass, his time and gardening experience was extremely helpful and a thank you is extended to him personally for giving up his time to support the project.
Local business SC Media were approached regarding stencils for the paintings and from the start were a great partner. The group explained what they wanted and quickly SC Media gave them an idea of what they could do, as well as giving a good price on the larger 8 foot stencil they generously donated the smaller 4 foot stencil.
The group having no experience in this area or the paint to be used made contact with Fleet Line Markers who sold them the right type of paint, and allowed them to use one of their machines for the painting free of charge while providing support and advice on how they would do the painting.
Unfortunately due to the very poor weather last week, the original plans were effectively ‘rained off’ - so the group needed a plan B.
Plan B was to purchase some Astro turf, so that it could be painted and laid on the banking if access to the steep banking was unsafe. Lazy lawns gave a fantastic deal when the group explained what the astroturf would be used for and delivered 24 feet of Astro turf to Bo’ness on Thursday morning for painting to begin.
At the helm of the painting was local man Bob Simpson who kept the group right with painting, safety equipment, and planning. Ultimately he did much of the work along with a few others but most definitely helped the project to completion and a massive thank you is extended to Bob for his efforts from the Bo’ness True Blues and the Local Community.
At the Cenotaph there is a combination of Poppies on the flat grass at the top and by the Harcus Stachan memorial, a further 9 poppies have been painted on Astro turf placed on the banking behind the Cenotaph to which will hopefully add to the memories of the great people who gave their lives for all of us. St Andrews Church also have an 8 foot Poppy on the grass banking at the front of the Church.
The end result is Bo’ness True Blues beautiful and poignant addition to the Remembrance Day commemorations within the town of Bo’ness.
The group would like to Extend a final thank you to all the neighbours for their moral support, help with water and storage, etc. The group are hopeful that they can continue the project into next year and make it even better and would like to extend an invite to anyone who feels they could help by maintaining the flowerbeds, weeding, cutting the grass, support with paint to get in touch.
Lest we forget Bo’ness