Chesterfield WON’T host iconic poppy display next year

The iconic Weeping Window display.
The iconic Weeping Window display.

Chesterfield has controversially missed out on a chance to host an iconic poppy display next year.

In July, Chesterfield Borough Council, Chesterfield College, Destination Chesterfield and ex-servicemen’s organisations launched a campaign to showcase the Weeping Window artwork in the town in 2016.

However, the Derbyshire Times learned this week that the bid has been unsuccessful.

The group which made the decision said it received an “unprecidented” number of applications from councils to host the display, which was designed by Chesterfield artist Paul Cummins.

The sculpture formed part of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation which was on display at the Tower of London last year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

The attraction features 2,800 ceramic poppies falling from height.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, the borough council’s cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said: “It is disappointing that the Weeping Window sculpture will not be coming to Chesterfield in 2016, particularly as Paul Cummins, the artist who created the original artwork, is from here.

“We have already commemorated the 100th anniversary of the First World War with services and events at Chesterfield Museum and we will continue to remember this as we plan events in the future.”

The decision was made by the 14-18 NOW committee, set up to help the country mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Jenny Waldman, director of 14-18 NOW, said: “We received an unprecedented number of applications to host the poppy sculptures in 2016 and we are working to ensure that as many people as possible across the UK have the chance to see them.

“The sculptures will visit 17 locations across the UK before the autumn of 2018 and we will continue to work with a range of places of particular First World War resonance.

“Applications to host the poppies in 2017 will open early next year,” she added.

Three venues have been chosen to host the Weeping Window artwork next year.

They are Lincoln Castle, the Black Watch Museum in Perth and Caernarfon Castle.