Knitters hope to prick the conscience of thief who stole north Derbyshire village's remembrance wreath

Knitters are hoping to prick the conscience of a thief who stole a poppy wreath that they had created for their north Derbyshire village.
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Grassmoor Craft Ladies Group dedicated around 200 hours to making flowers for a Remembrance Day tribute which was on display for three weeks outside the park gates on North Wingfield Road before it vanished.

Sue Kelsall, team leader at the group, was shocked to see that the wreath had gone last week. She said that the culprit has ‘no morals, or respect for our war heroes and our village community.

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"It was bolted onto a spike of angle iron and put two feet into the ground at the side of the metal soldier, so obviously not easy to take,” said Sue. “ It’s so sad and disheartening to see the hole where it was. A few of us in the village went on a mission to look for it but found nothing. I have reported it missing to the local police officer and the street cleaner.

The poppy wreath which knitters in Grassmoor Ladies Craft Group created to honour those who sacrificed their lives for the village in wartime.The poppy wreath which knitters in Grassmoor Ladies Craft Group created to honour those who sacrificed their lives for the village in wartime.
The poppy wreath which knitters in Grassmoor Ladies Craft Group created to honour those who sacrificed their lives for the village in wartime.

"We don’t want to know who took it, why or what for – just let us have it back. It’s only something small but why take it away from us?”

Twenty members were involved in knitting the poppies and Sue spent a day sticking them together. The group had hoped to reuse and extend the wreath in 2024.

The knitters’ efforts underline the ethos of the craft group which was set up more than 30 years ago to boost community spirit. Most of its members are of pensionable age, the oldest is 85 and the youngest 55, who meet weekly in the village’s church hall.

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This year the group has knitted 100 pairs of mittens for elderly residents and are making 250 angels for infant pupils at the village school to hang on their Christmas trees.

The wreath was stolen from outside Grassmoor Park gates on North Wingfield Road.The wreath was stolen from outside Grassmoor Park gates on North Wingfield Road.
The wreath was stolen from outside Grassmoor Park gates on North Wingfield Road.

Sue, who lives on North Wingfield Road, said: “Three years ago we bombed the village with hand-knitted Christmas angels. Five of us got up at 5am and tied about 600 angels in little poly pockets to gates, church railings, a tree, school railings, under the slide and on the swings with messages which said ‘Please take me home – Happy Christmas,’ just in time for the kids going to school.”

Despite the group’s dismay at the theft of their wreath, Sue, 68, said members are determined to keep on knitting for the good of the community. She said: “The ladies really enjoy it. You have to keep that spirit going.”

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