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Tower poppies could head to Chesterfield in 2016

field of poppies

Part of the poppy sculpture by Chesterfield artist Paul Cummins could be heading to the town as Chesterfield Borough Council makes a bid to display the commemorative artwork next year.

The council, together with Chesterfield College, Destination Chesterfield and ex-servicemen’s organisations, has completed an expression of interest to host the Weeping Window sculpture, which was part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red on display at HM Tower of London in autumn 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.

The bid is also supported by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

The display features 2,800 ceramic poppies, which will cascade from a building of some height. Options for displaying the sculpture include the Town Hall, Rose Hill.

The decision on whether the borough will host the sculpture will be made by a panel including Paul Cummins, 14-18 NOW, the official First World War Centenary cultural programme and the Imperial War Museum.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said: "The First World War was a watershed in our history. Hosting the Weeping Window sculpture would be fitting for us to remember the many Chesterfield men and women who gave their lives during the conflict.

"As the artist, Paul Cummins, is from Chesterfield, this would also be an opportunity to show our pride in him and his work in his home town."

Paul came up with the original idea for the sculpture after looking at some First World War archives while visiting the local studies and family history section of Chesterfield Library.

He was inspired by a line in the will of an unknown soldier, who died at Flanders, which said: "The blood-swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread."

This gave him the idea of making an installation with ceramic poppies representing each of the dead.

The decision on whether Chesterfield could host the sculpture will be made in September.

If successful, the artwork could be on display in the town in 2016.


First published on 30 July 2015 Last updated on 26 May 2016