Fundraiser hosts Remembrance tea as health brings end to stitching efforts

Afternoon tea at Murrow Bell to mark Remembrance weekend organised by Jackie Leet
Afternoon tea at Murrow Bell to mark Remembrance weekend organised by Jackie Leet

A fundraiser from Emneth has completed her final season of knitting poppies to raise funds for the annual Royal British Legion appeal.

Jackie Leet, with the support of friends, has raised thousands of pounds through the project over the past four years.

But, after organising a suitably patriotic afternoon tea party to mark Remembrance weekend, she revealed she was having to step down from the knitting project for health reasons.

She said: “This is the fourth year we have made the poppies, and it will sadly be the last because I’m starting to get arthritis in my hands which makes it hard to knit.”

But her community work is set to continue after she hosted a tea at the Bell pub in Murrow, near Wisbech, on Saturday.

She created a memorial wall in the village’s Bell pub in memory of her dad Sgt Jack Vockins and his friend Sgt Paddy Condon, both of the 8th Armoured Tank Division, as well as in tribute to those who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

Bunting was strung up around the pub for the tea which saw 36 people tuck into cakes and sandwiches prepared by Jackie.

Entertainment followed with Rachel B singing favourites from the war time era. There was also a war time police station set up in the pub car park.

Jackie sells the knitted poppies for £1 and this year with the help of Pat Coley and another friend Christine, she has made and sold 2,800 and, with donations, expects to make well over £3,000.

Jackie said: “I think we have raised over £5,280 from the sale of the poppies.

“The first year I did it on my own and sold £180, since then it has increased every year thanks to Pat, who has helped me from the second year onwards, and this year we have had Christine’s magnificent support – she made over 1,000 poppies herself and we made £2,800 selling them.

“I shall definitely carry on with the afternoon tea next year because people really enjoy it – although it is hard work doing all the baking.”