Theft won’t stop poppy plan from growing

Steve Trainor (left of banner) and supporters of the Morecambe Poppy Scatter.
Steve Trainor (left of banner) and supporters of the Morecambe Poppy Scatter.

Thieves have stolen poppy seeds on sale to raise money for a town-wide First World War fund raiser.

But the chief organiser of the Morecambe Poppy Scatter says their callous actions have failed to stop his big plans from flowering.

Steve Trainor, a Heysham bus driver who came up with the idea for the Poppy Scatter, said the public response to his campaign has been remarkable – with six million seeds sold in just over a month, raising more than £6,000 for money will be donated to the British Legion and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission . Mr Trainor now aims to sell one seed for every soldier killed in World War One and raise the equivalent in money, £136,904.30p.

The Morecambe Poppy Scatter will continue until mid-June to grow flowers until August, in a colourful tribute to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One this summer.

“It’s been a great response from everybody,” he said.

“Sales are going well in the Welcome Cafe in the Arndale, Bare Pharmacy has sold a hell of a lot and the local parish councils like Middleton have really helped, so I’m going to have to get another load of seeds. I originally thought we’d only done 40,000 seeds at a scatter in Happy Mount Park but I miscalculated, it was actually 175,000.”

He said the theft of 20 packets of seeds from Bon Marche in the Arndale was “disheartening” but “the fact that we’ve sold six million in a month more than compensates for it”.

Upcoming fundraisers for the Poppy Scatter include a race night at the York Hotel on April 5. Go to the Poppy Scatter Facebook group for more information.