It has a cast of 40, and takes its title from the adjacent beauty spot, Bluebell Hill. The Maintenance Team at Broxtowe Borough Council has sown thousands of poppy seeds on a swathe of land cut on the higher slope of the park. As part of a national Stream of Poppies initiative originating with the Scout Movement, children representing the schools and uniformed organisations performed a symbolic seed sowing here in mid-April. In addition,15 crosses were made and inscribed with each soldier’s name.
Extreme wet conditions in March and April, followed by unseasonal warm and dry weather, have meant that despite a repeated sowing, the majority of poppy seeds have sadly not germinated. Some seed is dormant and is likely to flower next year. But there will be the poignant sight of the crosses in situ on this day, a date which also marks the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. A simple service of hymns, readings and prayers will be led by the Vicar of Bramcote parish church, the Revd Paul Reynolds, and will culminate in the 25-minute play, with a final blessing. Descendants of the 15 will be present to see their family members honoured.
The project, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the war, was awarded £300 of financial support from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Commemoration Fund 2014-2018, to enabling its staging in the park. A grant of £200 from Broxtowe Borough Council will help towards costuming the 15 soldiers.
Their lives and those of the men who returned home safely, continue to be researched by the Bramcote History Group, which published the book, Remembering the People of Bramcote: How one village was affected by World War One, in 2010. Members of the group, along with Council, church and community representatives, have been closely involved with planning the commemoration.
The service will take place in the lower part of the park, easily accessed from Town Street. Those attending are advised to bring a picnic chair or rug to sit on. In the event of a downpour, the service will be transferred to St Michael & All Angels on Church Street, where car parking is available for this event. Spaces at the Council’s car park on Town Street will be reserved for Blue Badge holders.