On Remembrance Day we want to both celebrate and embrace ‘The Poppy Appeal’ and the feeling of support and togetherness that this day brings us. It reminds us what our ancestors went through, what our armed forces go through year in year out, and especially when we currently face uncertainty of a different kind today. The wedding industry, like many, has been hit hard this year due to COVID-19 and yet those working in the industry have continued to reassure couples that love is not cancelled, love will always win, Inspired by such messages, writer and poet Sally Wilkes of Rhymes To Remember set out to build on these sentiments and raise money for the Poppy Appeal. Every poppy makes a difference to the lives of our Armed Forces community, and this year, more than ever they need our support! We catch up with the team behind this vintage railway poppy wedding shoot and amazing cause…
“Seeing all of these messages of support, it dawned on me that the war is another obvious example of a time when love was not cancelled. Whilst we are not in the midst of a world war, the world currently faces a fight of a different kind. Many lives have been taken and many livelihoods have been lost. But the war serves as a stark reminder that, no matter what happens, there are two things that can never be taken from us – love and hope.”
“Wanting to lift spirits and to give everyone that renewed sense of hope, I decided to organise a war-time wedding photo shoot and I reached out to wedding suppliers inviting them to create poppy themed items that could not only feature in the shoot but also be raffled off afterwards to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.”
Seventeen different creative businesses took part in this COVID safe photo shoot set at Quorn and Woodhouse Station, which is part of the Great Central Railway. Michael Stokes, the Events and Marketing Manager for the Great Central Railway said, “We were delighted to welcome Sally and her team for the shoot. The station played a major part in the logistics for the Second World War as the government decided, due to its location, it would be a safe place from enemy bombers. The War Ministry expanded the yard and added extra sidings for the handling of ammunition. It also became a base for the transport of the 82nd US Airborne division for their journey into the southern part of the country. Restored in its 1940’s décor, with its NAAFI café under the bridge, we felt it was an ideal location and we really enjoyed the day’s filming.”
Laura Trethowan, who herself served in the RAF from 2000-2016, modelled in the photo shoot. “I was very pleased and excited when I was asked to model in the shoot but also nervous, as I was worried about being able to do justice to the dress, shoes and many other items that had been donated. I have served in the forces, as did my father, grandparents, and great grandparents, and so I understood the concept and reflected on both my own and their experiences during the shoot. The day was incredibly fun and the professionalism of those who took part is evident in the magical photos, which are absolutely beyond expectation. I feel very lucky and privileged to have played a role in this and in helping to raise funds for this year’s Poppy Appeal.” Mark Smith, a Community Fundraiser for The Royal British Legion, said of the photos, “These are wonderfully evocative images of a period in time that means so much to so many. The 75 th Anniversaries of VE and VJ Day were sadly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year and what they have done here will undoubtedly cast some people’s minds back to the end of World War 2. For those that weren’t there, however, they do create a great ‘timestamp’ of the 40’s.”
All of the items featured in the shoot are now being raffled off for the Poppy Appeal. The wedding dress, veil and wedding cake are included in one raffle and the shoes, silk poppy bouquet, jewellery, backdrops and artwork in another. Both raffles can be found here. Tickets cost £2 each and the closing date for both raffles is 13th November 2020.
Lilly Clements, also a Community Fundraiser for The Royal British Legion, said of the raffle; “We are very grateful to Sally for her very kind offer to fundraise for the Poppy Appeal. She has organised a fantastic raffle with some great prizes, which she will promote through this photo shoot. This year more than ever members of the Armed Forces have come forward seeking our help. We would like to encourage the public to get behind the Poppy Appeal and donate. Every poppy counts.”
The Team – Vintage Railway Wedding Inspiration For ‘The Poppy Appeal’
Photographer – Ellen Sear @ellensearlovestories
Concept, co-ordination and poetry – Rhymes To Remember @rhymes_to_remember / Venue – Quorn And Woodhouse Station, Great Central Railway @gcrailwayofficial / Videographers – TTS Media @tts_media / Model – Laura Trethowan / Dress – Ryley And Flynn Vintage @ryley_and_flynn_vintage / HMUA – Adele Cox @adelemakeupartist / Veil – Sash And Veil @sashandveil / Cake – Lesley Walter Cake Design @lesleywaltercakedesign / Hand-lettered banner – The Handmade Sign Company @handmadesignco / Silk poppy bouquet – Unfauxgettable @unfauxgettable.flowers / Framed poppy painting and face masks – Inked By Hand @inked_by_hand / Silver pendant – Bish Bosh Becca @bishboshbecca / Handkerchiefs – Extra Special Touch @extraspecialtouch / Poppy headpiece and brooches – Bunny Loves Evie @bunnylovesevie / Poppy wash bag and face pads – Raven Gifts And Interiors @ravengiftsandinteriors / Painted shoes – Inanna Bespoke Shoes @inannabespokeshoes / Wooden plaque – Sophie Rebecca Art @sophie_rebecca_art / “Love Will Always Win” supplier t-shirts – Print Spin @print.spin
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