The Appeal of helping our Armed Forces

The standard bearers make their entrance at the 24th Poppython at Blackpool's Royal British Legion Club.
The standard bearers make their entrance at the 24th Poppython at Blackpool's Royal British Legion Club.
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Musicians, dancers and comedians all took to the stage as military veterans staged an annual marathon fund-raiser for war heroes past and present.

Blackpool’s Royal British Legion staged its 24th Poppython at its King Street club, Blackpool, as acts from around the country performed to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.

The six-and-a-half hour show saw the central Blackpool club packed to the rafters to see performers support the servicemen and women in the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Ian Coleman, organiser of the Poppython, said: “Our first one came in 1990 when we raised £1,750. Since then we’ve raised over £126,000 for the Poppy Appeal.

“In this club we have people from the Second World War and people that have been serving for years and they are proud to be British.

“We have a lot of entertainers and they must think it’s worthwhile, we think it’s worthwhile and we have got to keep the flag flying and be proud.

“The money is utilised for the care and comfort for service personnel who have run into hard times, who are ill, who are sick.

“We look after every thread of it.”

The acts on the day ranged from the magic show Michael Jordan and High Jinx to comedian Duncan Norvelle and singers Nicky Leonard and Lorraine Hamer.

Ex-Territorial Army soldier David Buchanan, 68, of First Avenue, South Shore, said: “This is the best support on the Fylde coast and helps the troops that are at home and away.

“I’m proud to live in Blackpool and be a part of everything the town does for the military.”

Rita Thomas, 68, treasurer of Blackpool’s Royal British Legion, added: “The day was wonderful and it’s great to see what is going on.

“We have got to keep this up and never forget the people who fought in all of this country’s wars.”

Charity has a long and proud history

• The Royal British Legion has been campaigning on behalf of serving members of the armed forces and veterans since 1921.

• It is the UK’s leading service charity and provides care and support to everyone connected with the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

• The charity now boasts more than 300,000 members, making it one of the UK’s largest organisations.

• Donations can be made by visiting www.britishlegion.org.uk.

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