Fears over future of Glenrothes Poppy appeal

Poppy collectors Davie Archibald and Ron Smith at the Glenrothes memorial. Pic: George McLuskie
Poppy collectors Davie Archibald and Ron Smith at the Glenrothes memorial. Pic: George McLuskie

The opportunity for people in Glenrothes to wear a poppy in the lead up to the annual remembrance services could be at risk unless more poppy sellers can be found.

The town currently has only four volunteer collectors left and organisers say that they may have to reduce their collections in Glenrothes to almost nothing unless more people are found to help sell the popular symbol of respect for all those who have been killed in conflict.

In the past we’ve had teams of a ten or a dozen sellers who would cover the whole of the Glenrothes area

Ron Smith

Glenrothes resident Ron Smith, who has sold the traditional red poppy in the town for over 20 years, told the Gazette it would be a “crying shame” if people were denied the chance to mark their respect for those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

“In the past we’ve had teams of a ten or a dozen sellers who would cover the whole of the Glenrothes area and the neighbouring towns and villages, but as we’ve lost many of our regular collectors to old age in recent years we are now at the critical stage as to whether to continue for much longer,” Ron explained.

And with the demise of the town’s British Legion Club early this year, Ron now says the desperate call for local volunteers is their last chance to make sure people can pay their respects and support the charity which helps service personnel and families.

“Thanks mainly to the media coverage in recent years and the involvement of local regiments such as the Black Watch, support for the poppy charity and the services has grown significantly,” said Ron.

“But without people to help collections, we just can’t get to cover all of the usual collection points, it’s a very sad situation.”

Ron said they need volunteers for week day collections and will accept whatever time people are prepared to give up. Those wanting to help can contact Ron Smith on 01592-610420.

Collections will start in mid October.