SCARBOROUGH’S 2011 Poppy Appeal has been officially launched.
The campaign, which last year raised a staggering £59,065.48, got under way in grand style with a concert and remembrance ceremony in Queen Street Methodist Church Hall.
Scores of people attended the evening which featured a poignant Poppy drop and silence, a bugler signalling the Last Post and full standard bearers on parade, who included 92-year-old Normandy veteran Dougie Haw.
The Rev Geoff Bowell then conducted a full service, remembering fallen servicemen and women and those currently in conflicts across the world.
Scarborough Concert Band put on a stellar performance throughout the evening, with conductor Malcolm Appleby leading them through various numbers including Edward Elgar’s Nimrod and We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn.
The ceremony marked a change of venue for the Scarborough branch of the Royal British Legion, which had previously kick started its fundraising drive in the town’s Brunswick Centre.
And this year’s appeal has already been given a huge boost after £449.64 was raised at the concert.
Beryl Anderson, Scarborough’s Poppy Appeal organiser, said: “This was a wonderful way to start the Poppy Appeal and we thank everyone for their generosity.”
Mrs Anderson confirmed Poppy sellers will be on Scarborough’s streets from October 29.
Scarborough mayor, cllr John Blackburn, was a guest on the evening, and praised the tireless work of the town’s fundraisers.
He said: “It is a great charity, even more so with the ongoing Afghanistan conflict, and has always been very important to a lot of people.
“Scarborough does very well indeed with its donations and they collect in the town is just phenomenal.
“To have raised £59,065 last year was a fantastic effort for a place like Scarborough and everyone involved in the appeal does a great job.
“I will also be getting involved and selling Poppies in Alma Square for two hours on Remembrance Day.”