Visitors to Stone will have chance to see an iconic fire engine on display to mark the start of this year’s Poppy Appeal on Saturday, October 29.
Members of The Royal British Legion will take to High Street from 10am, where they will be joined by a Green Goddess.
Volunteers are hoping the presence of the vehicle, which is currently being restored with the help of serving soldiers from 22 Signal Regiment LAD, will become a centre of attraction at the launch of the annual appeal.
Ron Fox, Vice-Chairman of The Royal British Legion’s Stone Branch, said:
“We very recently acquired the Green Goddess and already it’s become an asset to us – not least because it’s always a real talking point.
“It’s a fantastic engine dating from the 1950s, and we’ve even been lucky enough to source an original bell for it with the kind help of 22 Signal Regiment LAD for which we’re incredibly thankful.”
The Poppy Appeal is a national campaign held throughout the month of November and is designed to raise funds for the Armed Forces community as well as providing the opportunity to remember fallen soldiers of past conflicts.
Warrant Officer Class 1 Iain Noon is helping with the restoration project and said:
“The Green Goddess is in a great condition considering its age but we’re looking forward to making sure it’s fully restored to its former glory.
“People always react very positively to it – children love it and for the older generation, it brings back memories. We are all just hoping that it will draw some crowds on the day, so people can come along and see it for themselves and learn a little more about The Royal British Legion at the same time.”
Green Goddesses, the popular name for a Bedford self-propelled pump, were used by the Auxiliary Fire Service and military personnel in times of national emergency, including the firefighters’ strikes of the 1970s and 2002.
“Nationally there is a huge demand for the support provided by The Royal British Legion. As an organisation, it provides lifelong help for serving men, women and their families, as well as veterans of previous conflicts.
“Last year the people of Stone helped us to raise £30,000, which was a fantastic amount and went to provide help for many local residents. This year, we’re encouraging as many visitors as possible to show their support once again.”