By Aimee Belmore and Ken Bennett
VILLAGES across Saddleworth are unveiling touching tributes and displays ahead of this year’s Armistice Day on November 11.
In Springhead, a silhouette has been mounted on the Community Centre, depicting the outline of a solider stood over a grave, and it has been adorned with poppies.
Springhead’s tribute is usually placed in the garden at the end of Ashbrook Road but this year has been mounted on the Community Centre instead.
Barbara Beeley, chair of Springhead and Lees Community Association, explained: “This change is because the garden is looking good, thanks mainly to the efforts of local resident Ruth McQuaid, and we did not want to trample on it.
“The second reason is the Community Centre was a Territorial Drill Hall opened in 1913, and subsequently became a recruiting station when the First World War broke out.
“I hope people will take the time to look at it and won’t assume that Springhead is not remembering this year.”
Elsewhere there are the same silhouettes at the War Memorial in Austerlands and at Grotton, near their ‘welcome’ planter on Oldham Road.
The silhouettes were the idea of Cllr Rob Knotts, chair of the Saddleworth Parish Council who lives in Austerlands, who had them designed and created.
Grotton Residents Association also looked into placing large Royal British Legion poppies on lamp posts on Oldham Road but due to overwhelming demand they were not available.
A spokesperson for the association said: “After discussion with Springhead and Austerlands resident groups we decided to each purchase and install a fallen hero silhouette.
“Martin and Jenny Harley have been responsible for assembling the silhouette and the poppy wreath is adorned with Jenny’s knitted poppies.
“We hope residents will appreciate this poignant and moving display as they travel through our village.”
Meanwhile at Lydgate, a banner bearing the phrase ‘Lest We Forget’ underneath a large poppy is draped over the village welcome sign.
And just up the road at St Anne’s Church, the entry archway has been adorned with large red poppies.