Buxton is preparing for a fanfare launch of its 2014 poppy appeal, which organisers hope will get them marching towards another record-breaking total.
The appeal, organised by the Buxton branch of the Royal British Legion, will kick-off on Saturday October 25 in flamboyant style with a free Mini Military Tattoo at Turners Memorial, featuring Burbage Band, 4 to the Bar, the ATC 2517 Buxton Corps of Drums and soldiers from the Mercian Regiment.
Proceedings will begin at 11am with the symbolic purchase of the first poppy by paralympic gold medal-winning cyclist Anthony Kappes, formerly of Chapel-en-le-Frith, with former BBC North West Tonight reporter Colin Sykes taking on the role of Master of Ceremonies.
“We are particularly thrilled to have Anthony as our celebrity guest, someone who is very inspirational and also has local links to the area,” said legion branch member Mo Stewart.
The 2013 poppy appeal raised a record-breaking £26,000, surpassing the previous years total by £7,000. This year, Mo explained, the branch was setting its sights even higher.
“This year we will be aiming to hit £30,000, and the mini tattoo should provide a great platform,” she added.
“We are all looking forward to what should be a wonderful tribute to the fallen, and hope as many people as possible, from all age ranges, will come along and show their support on the day, and for the poppy appeal as a whole in the weeks following the launch.”
Posters are already going up around the town to promote the mini tattoo, which have been designed by 11-year-old St Anne’s Primary School pupil Charlotte Howard. The competition was aimed at getting more younger people involved in the branch, which has its own youth membership.
The appeal comes at the end of a busy 12 months for the Buxton branch, which relaunched in January after being forced to close due to dwindling membership. Since then it has been active in leading the town’s commemorations to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.