Poppies survive

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
In remembrance poppies at the Tower of London

Crowds in a procession around the Tower © Nadia Lawes

Many people have been surprised by the enormous visitor interest in the moat of poppies surrounding the Tower of London. Estimates of 4 million visitors have been forecast which would make it one of the most attractive visitor sites in the country beaten only by the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum and Tate Modern.  It has increased the usual annual visitor figures to the Tower by 75%.
Is it memories of fallen WW1 servicemen or because of the artistic effect that the two people behind it – Paul Cummins and Tom Piper – have created?
By the time our previous story had appeared all the poppies had been sold raising millions for service related charities. The government stepped in and said it would waive rights to VAT payments on the sale and E-bay said it would not allow profiteers to re-sell them on its site.
People queued for hours. Officials suggested that visitors stagger their visits. Overseas visitors made the trip one of those “must-see.”
Hardly any family was unaffected by WWI so, as a reminder of what the troops went through, it has achieved its aim. People will talk about the moat of blood for years to come.
This is one “exhibition” that has captured people with its simplicity and splendor, something that doesn’t happen very often so, personally, I’m delighted that, part of the display will remain after November 12th. The segments called The Wave and The Weeping Tower will now tour the country until 2018 allowing many who could not get to London to be able to see it. Whether the impact will be a strong as it was surrounding the Tower is anyone’s guess though but, when the tour is over, I hope those two segments will survive and find a permanent home at a the National Memorial Arboretum in Stafffordshire.
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