About The Poppy Factory:
The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey makes paper poppies and wreaths for Remembrance Day, 11 November. The factory workers, many disabled ex-Service and dependents, make poppies all year round and free factory tours are available.
The Poppy Factory was formed back in 1922 when disabled ex-Service came home from the war and found no employment. The factory moved to its current site in Richmond in 1933.
Who Makes The Poppies?:
Most of the employees are disabled ex-Service or dependents of ex-Service people.
As well as the Poppy Factory, there about about 80 homeworkers and some residential homes and disabled groups who also make poppies.
Why Do We Wear Red Poppies?:
It's our way of remembering those who fought and lost their lives in World War I. But why poppies? Poppies were the first flowers to grow over the soldier's graves in Belgium and northern France so we think of them as a symbol of new life after so much atrocity. Selling poppies all started with an American war secretary being inspired by Canadian doctor John McCrae's poem:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row...
Find out more about poppy selling from this BBC News article.
About The Factory Tours:
Groups of a maximum of 42 can take part in one of two daily guided tours at 10.30am and 1.30pm, Monday to Thursday. The tour takes about 1 hour 30 minutes and they even give you a cup of tea and biscuits at the end!
Tours run by arrangement so simply contact them to arrange for a group visit, or if it's for individuals to visit just ask which tour you can join in with. Visits to the Poppy Factory are very popular and it's recommended you book as far ahead as possible.
Incredibly, The British Legion Poppy Factory offer these tours for free.
There are a few souvenirs to purchase including the Poppy Factory china from the shop.
The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory Ltd.
20 Petersham Road
Surrey TW10 6UR
Nearest Tube and Train Station: Richmond
Tel: 020 8940 3305
Fax: 020 8332 1205
Official Website: www.poppyfactory.org