A Moving Tribute……The Poppies come home


The Weeping Window…

In 2014 a spectacular display was unveiled at the Tower Of London.  It was a special tribute to those who lost their lives in the 1914-18 First World War. It was indeed a unique and moving tribute…one that the nation took very much to its heart.  Such was the emotion and interest that it created that is was decided that in the years between 2014 and 2018 that the memorial had to be shared with the Nation as a whole. A ‘Tour’ of major cities and significant locations was created.

What is special is that it is now on display in Derby…in fact you can say The Poppies have come home.  The concept was the  partnership of Artist Paul Cummins and Designer Tom Piper and the thousands of ceramic Poppies were designed and made in Derby


The Silk Mill, Derby

Cascading down from the bell tower of the Silk Mill, the poppies are draped around the base of the tower. The Poppies literally pop out at you, a little larger than life on thin stalks the provide a graceful display….a display that visitors can get  close to and feel personally very much part of the tribute…

(Poppies – The Weeping Window are on display till Sunday July 23rd and are part of a number of other 14-18 NOW events in Derby)

The Silk Mill itself is a also a significant part of Derby’s history. It was built between 1717 & 1722.  A revolutionary Silk Spinning Mill automatically creating Silk thread from raw Silk.  Located by the River Derwent it is now one of a number of Mills that are part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

The Silk Mill, like many mills of its age has had a checked history being adapted for use by  many trades.  It was partially destroyed by fire, rebuilt and pressed into vital service during the 1st WW….one part grinding Corn whilst another manufactured Medical supplies.  In more recent times it has been an Industrial Museum but even that has had regular misfortunes due to Local Council cuts to expenditure.

Maybe the Poppies are signalling better times for the Silk Mill as Lottery funding has been awarded for the museum to be revamped and reopened  (I think) in 2020.

DOI_2724_00064qq The Silk Mill and River Derwent, Derby 

(part of the World Heritage Site)

15th June

(C) David Oakes 2017



14 thoughts on “A Moving Tribute……The Poppies come home

    • Listening to the comments of people visiting the installation…it made their day too (with a few tears). I got there early so few folk about but by the time I left it was getting packed.

  1. A wonderful idea and a marvellous display! How fantastic that it will be travelling around Britain so many more people can see it.

    • The Tower of London display was certainly something special…….. but from what I gather it has lost none of its special magic at any of the locations it has been to last year. Certainly whilst it has a special significance for Derby it still brings gasps of I suppose one would call awe 🙂

  2. I saw photos when the poppies were in London. What a powerful statement. I think it’s wonderful they are taking them around the country.

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