Long-serving Longridge Poppy Appeal heroes are honoured

Photo Neil Cross'Longridge Poppy organiser Bill Houghton, centre, presenting awards recognising help with commemoration, with from left, May Squires, Susan Smith, Irene Hutchinson and Wilf Blezard
Photo Neil Cross'Longridge Poppy organiser Bill Houghton, centre, presenting awards recognising help with commemoration, with from left, May Squires, Susan Smith, Irene Hutchinson and Wilf Blezard

More than 200 years of Remembrance poppy sales by dedicated sellers in and around Longridge have been recognised with long service awards.

Poppy organiser Bill Houghton welcomed 20 members of his team to the special meeting at Alston’s White Bull including three of the six award winners.

At what he called ‘our first poppy picnic,’ he congratulated all the sellers, presenting offical certificates to Irene Hutchinson on 55 years selling in Ribchester, Susan Smith on 20 years covering Goosnargh and Wilf Blezard on his 40 years selling poppies around Chipping.

Former long-serving Women’s Section president, Irene Parkinson was unable to attend, but was given her award at home for more than 50 years coverage in Longridge, as was Beryl Murant for 15 years selling around Whitechapel.

Retirement from selling followed Irene Airey’s Thornley coverage for the past 55 years. Also unable to be present, she was represented by Judith Clark and John Coar who have taken over the round “and hope we can do as well as Irene has over the years,” they said.

“Congratulations and well done to them all,” Mr Houghton told the meeting.

“Whilst we celebrate these achievements, new volunteers will be welcome to help with this important fundraising. All the persons here have been involved with the selling of poppies for many years now, plus the delivery and collecting of the poppy boxes.

“For such success to continue we need more helpers, and if you think you could help don’t hesitate to give me a ring on 01772 784454.”

The total amount raised in the Longridge area has gone up steadily over the years and reached an amazing £10,600 after last year’s successful poppy appeal.