I am writing in response to the letter on red poppies by Raymond Hirst (LP Letters, October 28,). It is not true that the National Union of Teachers (now National Education Union) has launched a campaign to endorse white poppies alongside the Peace Pledge Union (PPU).
The PPU had a stall at this year’s NUT Annual Conference, as did many other organisations.
Individual teachers signed up in support of an education package on the white poppy – there is no formal support from the union as a whole.
Every school I know will sell red poppies and will mark the two-minute silence. Good teachers will explain the significance of this to the children so they understand what is happening. Some teachers will also talk about the white poppy. Surely it is right for children to learn something of the history of the white poppy movement?
This is not indoctrination but the opposite – providing a balance so that our young people are aware there are differing viewpoints on issues such as war and peace.
Following the First World War, there was an international desire for peace from the top of society right down to the bottom. No-one wanted to see a return to the slaughter suffered by millions during 1914-18.
By the 1930s, however, Fascism was on the rise in parts of Europe and militarism was on the increase.
The Women’s Cooperative Guild launched the white poppy in 1933, still determined that peace, not war, was worth campaigning for.
The PPU took over production of the white poppy in 1936. For many years, people saw no contradiction in wearing both the red and the white poppy. More recently though, those that choose to wear a white poppy, or not to wear a red poppy, find themselves vilified.
I will wear a white poppy to remember the many millions who have died in war since 1918, the hundreds of millions more who have been injured, traumatised, and bereaved, and to remember that nowadays over 90 per cent of people killed in war are civilians.
Vice President Lancashire NEU (NUT Section)
I’ll be voting with my feet
When a group of National Trust members recently put forward a motion calling for the charity to stop fox, hare and stag hunts from illegally killing animals on Trust land under the cover of trail hunting, exempt hunting or exercising hounds, the motion failed by 299 votes.
The Trust effectively swung the decision, by using discretionary votes given by some members, to rule against the motion – thus allowing 67 hunts to continue hunting on Trust land.
The trustees ignored 400 pages of evidence of illegal hunting and advised members to vote against the proposal.
This is at odds with Trust claims of being “open to people’s views, needs and suggestions” and of not “saying one thing and doing another” or of “sticking with the status quo and never pushing the boundaries”.
I visit many National Trust properties, and as a non-member, I pay considerably more over the course of a year than I would as a member.
As I couldn’t participate in the official vote, I shall vote with my feet and will not visit a single NT property until they ban this atavistic barbarism.
Others may choose to do likewise.
Vote for mental wellbeing
Mental wellbeing is in the spotlight these days, with an increasing awareness supported by many high profile people.
In Preston, we are fortunate to have two PeerTalk peer support groups for people who live with depression or other related mental health conditions. They meet every Thursday, one during the day, the other in the evening.
Run by trained volunteer facilitators, the strength of these groups lie in the support offered. It comes from others who know the experience of mental / emotional distress.
The purpose of the group is not to ‘treat’ depression. It isn’t therapy, it’s a support group, from which those that come along can draw strength from the knowledge that they’re not alone, aside from the practical help they might receive. I’m a volunteer at one of the groups. Our volunteers are strong in number and in their commitment and enthusiasm. We have applied for some funding to offer further professional training to our volunteers from the Aviva Community Fund. Our volunteers are worth investing in. They enable the groups to function, and whilst they freely give, many will say that they receive much in return.
Please help us to secure this funding by voting for us, PeerTalk, at https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-4487 Voting is open until November 21.
Looking for cousin Amy
Amy, Shirley or John Kenney,
I hope this letter finds you.
My name is Sherry Lynn Herod. I’m from Mission BC, Canada, and I’m looking for my cousin Amy Kenney.
She would be in her mid 30s. I know she lived in Morecambe, England and her parents are Shirley and John Kenney.
I do have a old address –16 Pembroke Lane, Morecambe, England. I would love to connect with this part of my family. My mother Shirley Bridge would also love to get to know you.
Special thanks to Lancashire Post for helping me.
Contact me at
Sherry Lynn Herod
Fallon’s fallen on his sword
Sir Michael Fallon has fallen on his sword, following the latest harassment claims made against him.
Was there a real (k)need to, given that the damsel in question claims she was never in distress with his behaviour?
Despite his former ministerial post, he offered no defence of his actions.
Or is this knight hoping to shield himself from other more fire dragon breathing allegations?