Your Star saves the poppy

IPSWICH: A tribute to our fallen troops is today back in position at the town hall – after The Evening Star stepped in when it was suddenly removed.

There was fury when the iconic red poppy was taken down yesterday lunchtime and replaced with a banner for the University Campus Suffolk (UCS) graduation, which takes place today and tomorrow.

The poppy is believed to have been removed after the borough council agreed to allow UCS to place a banner on the venue of this year’s ceremonies several months ago.

But it was not realised that the timing would clash with the Poppy Appeal which was launched on Saturday – until The Star intervened and contacted the borough council.

Robin Vickery, of the town’s Royal British Legion, said the removal of the poppy would have meant that less people were aware of the importance of the time of year.

“I was so surprised and extremely disappointed to hear that it had been taken down – our poppy has been a feature for a number of years,” he said.

“The Royal British Legion has just two weeks to fundraise for the Poppy Appeal and to think that our main poppy in the town could be removed for up to two days is a great shame.”

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Last year, thousands of generous people in Ipswich donated more than �68,000 to the appeal, with the contribution from the whole county topping �600,000.

One Ipswich resident, who asked not to be named, described the poppy being taken down as “nothing short of a disgrace”.

But a spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “We certainly had no intention whatsoever of upsetting anyone.

“The borough council has always supported and will continue to support the Poppy Appeal, the Royal British Legion and our brave armed forces.

“We apologise for any upset caused by this. The banner will be taken down this morning and the poppy will be restored.”

A spokesman for the Community Engagement Office at UCS said that the poppy would have been put back up on Friday.

n Are you glad to see the return of the poppy? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail