'Amazing' display of cascading poppies now on display in Cromer

Weeping window Cromer Church

The 'weeping window' sculpture of 4,500 ceramic poppies at Cromer Church has been installed after a two-year delay due to the pandemic. - Credit: Sue Mears

A labour of love involving 100 volunteers making 4,500 ceramic poppies has finally seen a dramatic display installed at Cromer Church.

It might be two years later than planned - but the red and purple sculpture now spills from a window before flooding the grounds outside the building.

The installation, inspired by a similar artwork at the Tower of London in 2014, was originally meant to go up in 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War - but this was postponed by the pandemic.

Volunteers started installing the sculpture on Monday (May 16).

Cromer Church weeping window

Ceramic poppies cascade from a window in Cromer Church in commemoration of the end of the Second World War. - Credit: Andreas Yiasimi

The sculpture was first proposed in 2019 by Cromer Town Council clerk Julie Chance who had seen the Tower of London 'weeping window' and wondered if something similar could be done in Cromer.

She contacted Sue Mears, who at the time was running Sticky Earth cafe, and together they set about making the poppies with a team of volunteers.

Cromer mayor Pat West, left, and Richard Leeds in front of the

Cromer mayor Pat West, left, and Richard Leeds in front of the 'weeping window' sculpture of 4,500 ceramic poppies at Cromer Church. - Credit: Dave 'Hubba' Roberts

Throughout the winter of 2019, they met every Tuesday morning, when poppy after poppy was rolled and shaped, fired in the oven, then painted in a coloured glaze and fired again.

Unfortunately, Ms Chance broke her kneecap 13 weeks ago and has not yet been able to see the installation, but Ms Mears will take her there on Friday (May 20).

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"I can't wait to see it. I'm quite tearful because it's been two years in the making," she said.

Cromer Town Council town clerk Julie Chance holding a red and purple poppy on their metal stems. Tho

Cromer Town Council town clerk Julie Chance has won Community Hero at the first North Norfolk News awards. - Credit: Archant

Ms Mears, who was on site on Wednesday (May 18) helping to set up the display, said: "It's absolutely amazing. I'm chuffed to bits.

"Thank you to all of the volunteers who have helped. It's been a mammoth task"

Weeping window Cromer

Purple poppies in the display at Cromer Church represent the animals which were killed during both world wars. - Credit: Sue Mears

Unlike the London display, the Cromer version also features hundreds of purple poppies encircling a life-size wicker horse to symbolise the millions of animals which died in both the first and second world wars.

In the middle of the display, 63 red poppies represent military and civilian casualties in the Second World War.

Sue Mears weeping window poppies

Sue Mears, who was involved in making Cromer's 'weeping window' display of ceramic poppies, at the sculpture on Wednesday, May 18. - Credit: Courtesy of Sue Mears

The installation will stay in place throughout the Jubilee celebrations before being taken down on June 13.

Pat West, mayor of Cromer, said: "We're so pleased, it's turned out better than we expected and it just looks absolutely wonderful."

To buy a poppy, contact Ms Chance via her email address: clerk@cromer-tc.gov.uk