Here's how Bedford will be marking Remembrance Day - and when the Poppy Appeal officially launches

The pop up Poppy Appeal shop opens on October 28

Thursday, October 28 marks the official launch of the Poppy Appeal – and the opening of Bedford’s pop up Poppy Appeal shop.

As well as the chance to pickup your poppy, you can also take a look around the historic uniforms and memorabillia on display, win a fantastic piece of artwork, and enter the raffle to win a new bike.

Pictures from Military Artwork for Charities (MAC) are on sale, with 50 per cent of money raised going to the Poppy Appeal. Money remaining will be used to produce another print so the fundraising can continue, with any left over going to support veterans.

Just some of the items on display

MAC has also teamed up with Little Biker Boyz to offer a bike as a raffle prize, with the winner set to be drawn at 3.39pm on November 13.

Younger visitors to the shop can take part in a colouring activity – getting a Poppy Appeal wristband for their creative efforts.

A magician is also set to visit the shop on launch day, and will be back to entertain visitors while it is open. Dates are still to be confirmed.

Among the items on display is a bike ridden by Louis Fussell, cycle campaigner and founder member of Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire.

He rode the bike for his fundraising efforts and biked from Land’s End to John O’Groats on multiple occasions – three of which were for the Poppy Appeal.Bedford Borough Council, the Bedford branch of the Royal British Legion and other partners are working together to hold events to mark Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.

While last year these events had to take place on a much smaller scale, due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year they will return to their traditional format with members of the public invited to take part.

On Sunday, November 14 there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the War Memorial, Bedford Embankment at 11am.

After the wreath laying, the Parade will march down the Embankment, across the High Street and St Paul’s Square, finishing in Harpur Square.

Wreath laying ceremonies are also taking place at the South African Campaign Memorial (outside the Swan Hotel), at Elstow Abbey, and in villages across the Borough.

Kempston Town Council has arranged a Remembrance Service at Kempston East Methodist Church on Sunday 14 November at 14.30, followed by a parade to the War Memorial for the silence and the laying of wreaths.

There will be an Armistice Day Commemoration and two-minute silence in Riverside Square, Bedford on November 11. Members of the public are asked to arrive for 10.40am.

The RBL Poppy Shop will be offering tea and coffee, supplied by Morrisons, to all veterans after the service.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said “Remembrance and Armistice events are always hugely moving as we remember the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict or terrorism.”

Robin Thomas, Bedford Branch of the Royal British Legion said “We will also remember those from countries of the present Commonwealth nations in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean who were not always afforded the dignity and honour in death that they deserved. We will acknowledge their sacrifice and that of their families.

“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign.”

The Poppy Shop on Harpur Street will be open from 10am to 4pm every day to Saturday 13 November, apart from Sunday 7 November when it will be open from 1pm to 4pm.