Beccles shows support for Poppy Appeal

Michelle Payne from The Upstairs Gallery with her metal man that has been decorated with poppies for

Michelle Payne from The Upstairs Gallery with her metal man that has been decorated with poppies for Remembrance Sunday. - Credit: Nick Butcher

While the region makes plans for Remembrance Day, one Beccles artist is encouraging people to publicly show their respects.

Nicholas Barber, who will be at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday

Nicholas Barber, who will be at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday - Credit: Archant

The metal man known as Stan Still has long been a permanent feature on the benches outside The Upstairs Gallery in Beccles.

And to mark Remembrance Day, gallery owner Michelle Payne is encouraging people to buy an extra poppy and place it on Stan.

She said: “It’s been going for about three years now, there was a poppy seller downstairs and I found people naturally started putting poppies in Stan.

“Then we started to find poppies with names on them.


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“It’s really quite a nice thing, it’s just making people think.”

Anyone who would like to place a poppy while Stan Still is packed away overnight can put it through the door of The Upstairs Gallery to be added on the next day.

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Also marking Remembrance Day is former RAF Police Corporal Nicholas Barber.

Mr Barber, who is from Beccles, will march to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday for Blind Veterans UK.

He joined the RAF Police in 1983 as a dog handler, and was stationed in Germany, the Falklands and the UK and gradually began to lose his sight in 2001.

He said: “I heard the kids running around but I didn’t see anything except occasionally if the ball came near me.

“I told my wife who made sure I got thorough tests done at the hospital. At first they thought I may have had a stroke but later they found out I had retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease which causes blindness.

“The news floored me. I lost my job, I lost my confidence and I was generally quite down. Losing my sight changed everything and affected not just me but also my wife.”

In 2007, he received free support from Blind Veterans UK, which he said has changed his life.

He will be marching for the fifth time to the Cenotaph, joining more than 100 other blind veterans.

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