Iconic poppy display expected to attract 5,000 Lincoln visitors a day

Lincoln Castle is to be adorned with sea of beautiful poppies from the end of this month with the iconic sculpture set to increase visitor numbers by 5,000 a day.

Staff at Lincoln’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) are counting down the days to the arrival of a star attraction, which opens to the public on Saturday, May 28, through to Sunday, September 4.

The sculpture Poppies: Wave is already on its way to the castle and VIC Manager Michele Sims and her colleagues are getting in the mood to welcome scores of new visitors to the city by sporting brightly coloured poppy scarves.

There are also a variety of commemorative souvenirs available in the shop on Castle Hill.

Michele and her team are also looking forward to raffling a piece of needlework to raise money for the International Bomber Command Centre, which is needing funds for the centre to be built on Canwick Hill.

And Lincoln BIG, which manages the VIC, is also preparing to put floral displays outside the information centre.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Poppies: Wave is one of two sculptures (Wave and Weeping Willow) which formed the installation “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.” The poppies and original concept were by artist Paul Cummins and the work was designed by Tom Piper.

The complete sculpture, featuring 888,246 poppies was originally on show at HM Tower of London in 2014.

The installation was first installed at the Tower of London.

The installation was first installed at the Tower of London.

The theme of this artwork is remembrance. Each location which hosts the sculpture has its links to history, The Great War and people taking time to remember the losses in their community – whether in the past or more recently.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, where seven Lincolnshire battalions fought.

VIC Manager Michele Sims said: “We are thrilled that Poppies: Wave is coming to Lincoln. We are expecting it to attract thousands of extra visitors and we are waiting with a warm welcome.

“The VIC will be selling poppy-themed goods, including the very popular poppy fashion scarves. We are producing our own bespoke range of souvenirs, which will also include a pack of commemorative field poppy seeds and postcard set, utilising artwork commissioned by Visit Lincoln. The design has been inspired by the 1916 Tank, which was designed and made in Lincoln.

“10% of the money raised through sales of these, and other gifts such as fridge magnets, will be donated to the International Bomber Command Centre fundraising appeal.

“In addition, there is a chance for someone to win a fabulous, beautiful handmade quilt made by local craft business Bee-spoke Quilts. The lucky winner will also be given a private tour of the International Bomber Command Centre site. Additional prizes will be for drawn for the chance to join the private tour.”

Tickets cost £2 each, and the raffle will be drawn on Monday, September 5.

The VIC has also announced that it is extending its opening hours from May 28 right through until September 4.

On Sundays and on Bank Holiday it will be open from 10am to 5pm (current Sunday Bank Holiday hours are 10.30am to 4pm).

“During July and August our opening hours will be increased by one hour, from 10am to 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays,” added Michele.

Lincoln Castle is looking for volunteers to join its existing team in the run up to the anticipated surge in visitors.

The castle is holding open days for prospective volunteers on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May, from 11am to 3pm. Alternatively, contact Paul Mason by emailing paul.mason@lincolnshire.gov.uk or 01522 550955 for more information and an application form.