Nicolson Institute group creates stunning poppy display

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A group of pupils in The Nicolson Institute in Stornoway has been working on knitting poppies over the last month – ahead of the Iolaire memorial service on January 1 – under the tutorship of teacher, Alison Macdonald.

Four weeks ago they only had 15 completed, so asked for some help to reach their target of 201 poppies to represent the 201 lives which were lost on HMY Iolaire on January 1, 1919.

With the great level of interest shown in the project, through support from staff and the community, the total number of poppies knitted soared to more than 400.

The poppies were then all attached to a net and it was anticipated that the stunning display would form a prominent part of the Iolaire Commemoration events.

Nicolson Institute pupils with the completed poppy display. NO F01 Nicholson
Nicolson Institute pupils with the completed poppy display.

Ms Macdonald, who led the project, said: ‘We are just overwhelmed with the support from within the school and also from the local community.

‘It’s an amazing example of the power of a simple idea and also the way in which this year of remembrance of the Iolaire disaster especially has brought a huge reaction from the island community.

The islands very obviously want to remember and want to show that they honour the memory of those who lost their lives defending the country in time of war.’

Nicolson Institute rector, Frances Murray, added: ‘The completed display is a simple but extremely powerful symbol of remembrance.

‘Our pupils continue to make us proud in so many ways, and their work on this project is another example of this.’


CAPTION: Nicholson Institute pupils at work attaching the poppies to the net.

NO F01 Nicholson poppies 02