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Poppies planted at railway station to commemorate Great War
WEYMOUTH train passengers are being welcomed by a moving sight recently as resident Brian Coomber has planted poppies at the station to commemorate the First World War.
Mr Coomber, 74, and his wife Janna, 70, have been maintaining the floral displays on the roundabout outside the station, and in boxes alongside the station wall in Ranelagh Road, for the past 11 years.
The pair have used their savings to pay for the flowers and have built the flowerboxes themselves Their work has won awards from rail campaigners in recognition of their efforts.
Mr Coomber said: “It’s all voluntary work and I think it must take us about seven or eight hours a week to look after it.
“When we started this little bit was ordinary. Since then we’ve planted the roses and trees as well, everything really.”
Mr Coomber said the idea for planting the poppies came from his wish to pay tribute to the important sacrifice soldiers had made and to mark the centenary of the First World War.
“We planted poppies this year to commemorate 100 years since World War One and I think we should remember because otherwise we might not be here today.”
“My grandad fought and when he came back from the First World War he split up from his wife because of the trauma – it happened to a lot of soldiers because of the horrible experience of war. Soldiers are still dying even today, so it’s important to remember.”
Mr Coomber who was born in Weymouth and lived in Guernsey for 28 years before returning 13 years ago, said he wants to improve the scenery around the station for travellers.
“After I left the Royal Navy I spent thirty five years working for Floral Guernsey. I hope this is like bringing a little bit of Guernsey to Weymouth.
“People think I’m barmy for spending all my own money on it but I love doing it. It’s all about the display and hearing people say how nice it is. If you get off the train and feel tired you’ll smile because of the flowers.”
- HEROES OF D-DAY: P12-13
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