A GIANT poppy mural is part of the Brunel Shopping Centre’s new display commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

The poppy field scene has been painted by Niki Tritton, from Swindon Artists’ Forum, and is forming part of a memory wall based in the arcade area near Play Zone.

War poems, poppies made by pupils of Goddard Park Primary School and St Mary’s School, and 150 poppies knitted by the Swindon Stitch and Bitch group make up the display.

Niki said: “I was given a criteria to produce something very simple but striking and I think a sea of red poppies has a real impact. I have never produced a mural of this size before and I loved every minute of being part of this important project.

“I’ve had some lovely feedback which I really appreciate.”

Tracey Major, a team leader from Swindon Stitch and Bitch, said the group is pleased to be part of the exhibition. She said: “We had a group of 15 ladies who worked on the poppies and it was an absolute pleasure to be involved.”

Shoppers will have the opportunity to make their own poppies and add them to the wall of remembrance, commemorating 100 years since the start of the First World War, during free workshops running from 11am until 1pm and 2pm until 4pm on Saturday, August 9.

In the build up to the event, visitors to the Brunel will also be able to leave messages on the wall, which will be in place throughout the autumn, paying their respects to those who served during the conflict.

Jane Stewart, the shopping centre’s marketing manager, said: “This project came about as part of the Swindon in the Great War plans, which is a programme of community events and activities to ensure that the town’s part in the war is properly commemorated.

“The mural looks fantastic. We are now in the process of putting up all the poppies and expect the whole area to look stunning when it’s finished.

“We hope people will come along and have a look at this community work of art and add their own messages.”

On August 9, hundreds of Poppy Peaceboms will be given to shoppers which will allow them to plant their own seeds.

Swindon residents are also being asked to support the Light Outs campaign on Monday between 10pm and 11pm.

The event, marking 100 years to the day that Britain entered the First World War, is asking participants to light a single candle and think of those affected by the conflict.

The project is being organised by 14-18 NOW which is the official cultural programme for the First World War centenary commemorations.

In Luckington, there will be a service in St Mary with St Ethelbert at 9pm, with residents asked to meet at the village green at 10pm with candles.