Whilst placing an order for a Poppy Wreath recently, it came to light that Kilbirnie St Columba’s Church still had a wreath made by Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory. It was stored in the box it was delivered in to the church during the 1930s and Mrs Marshall who was placing their order asked if the poppy factory would have any use for it. Without hesitation we welcomed the kind gesture and it is now proudly displayed in our factory boardroom and has drawn interest from many factory visitors already.
We thought this would be a great opportunity to share some old images of wreath production during past times at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, including a 1930s catalogue showing a larger version of the wreath donated to us by Kilbirnie St Columba’s Church.
The original box made at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory can be seen below and also how well preserved the poppy wreath is after being stored in it’s box for so long.
One of our original 1930s Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory catalogues shows a slightly larger image of the wreath donated by Kilbirnie St Columba’s Church.
The wreath making process involved constructing a robust wire frame. This frame would then be furnished with straw, secured in place with fine wire. The straw would then be covered with laurel leaves, each one being individually hand dipped into hot wax, these would be wired into place – one by one. Finally, the hand made poppies would be placed and secured with yet more wire before the final long wire stemmed poppies were secured. A lengthy process all round and upon opening the box and seeing the wreath sent to us by Kilbirnie St Columba’s Church for the first time, the quality of the wreath after such a passage of time is testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the disabled ex-servicemen employed at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory all those years ago.
The many visitors to Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory learn all about the origins of the factory. To be able to show an example of one of our wreaths that was actually despatched and used for it’s purpose, preserved and returned to us is a marvellous thing . It makes it easier to explain the manufacturing processes and how to show how they have evolved.
We are very grateful to Kilbirnie St Columba’s Church for their thoughtful donation and we would love to hear of any further examples of early Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory craftsmanship that has survived over the years, if you know of any we would be most grateful if you could get in touch.