Poppy sellers stand tall: Brave Royal British Legion charity collectors refuse to be intimidated as they rattle their tins on Armistice Day
- David Poynter said hundreds of people bought a poppy at Waterloo Station
- The Royal British Legion has said they are ‘keen to get on with collecting’
- Stalls missing at numerous London stations due to protest fears
Poppy sellers across England have continued to head out and collect on Armistice day despite fears of disruption due to this weekend’s protests.
Stalls were missing at Kings Cross, Euston, Victoria, London Bridge and other railway hubs this week despite it being days before November 11.
A planned sit in by pro Palestinian activist at the London station was banned after the Met Police placed it in an exclusion zone.
The ban also applied to Victoria and Charing Cross stations, but large numbers of police were spotted in the station concourse.
Similar sit ins had been staged earlier in the week at several stations.
A planned sit in by pro Palestinian activist at the London station was banned after the Met Police placed it in an exclusion zone
Stalls were missing at Kings Cross, Euston, Victoria, London Bridge and other railway hubs this week despite it being days before Armistice Day
The ban also applied to Victoria and Charing Cross stations, but large numbers of police were spotted in the station concourse
A lone poppy seller at Waterloo Station said he had nothing but positive comments from people on the station concourse, despite fears of disruption due to this weekend’s protests.
David Poynter said hundreds of people had stopped to buy a poppy – with no sign of the abuse suffered by other sellers in the run up to Armistice Day.
He said: ‘Everyone has been extremely positive. People are happy to see me here. Lots of people have been buying their poppies, which is obviously very pleasing.
The Royal British Legion has said today that they are ‘keen to get on with collecting’ and their merry band of volunteers feel the same.
Maggie Davies, 80, who has been selling poppies for years and served six years in the Royal Airforce, where she met her husband, told MailOnline today: ‘We probably take in £1,000 a day. People are very generous. We took £700 in two hours yesterday’.
When asked about tomorrow’s pro-Palestine protest, she said: ‘I do hope for everybody’s sake, and all concerned, everything passes peacefully. Also, for the Royal Family.’
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘This week concerns have been raised about the safety of poppy sellers at stations and other busy venues. Alongside our colleagues at the British Transport Police we have been clear no intimidation of those who so generously give up their time for this treasured national cause will be tolerated. Officers know the risk felt by sellers and should be sought out by anyone concerned throughout the weekend’.
MailOnline revealed exactly where you can buy your poppy in the capital as sellers revealed ‘generous’ Britons are donating at an increased rate of £350-an-hour at some stalls after intimidation from pro-Palestine protesters.
MPs urged Britons – and police officers – to wear poppies ‘with pride’ and in ‘solidarity’ with Royal British Legion volunteers.
Tory MP Michael Fabricant told MailOnline that he had spoken to people who are now ‘nervous’ about wearing a poppy.
He said: ‘I have been wearing my poppy with pride. Police and the general public should all wear poppies as in previous years to show solidarity with the normal, decent people in the UK.
David Poynter said hundreds of people had stopped to buy a poppy – with no sign of the abuse suffered by other sellers in the run up to Armistice Day
The royal british legion and its many workers and supporters come out in strength this Saturday despite various protests against them, Windsor town centre and Windsor castle farm shop busy with people buying poppies from the stalls
Watford fans buy poppies from poppy sellers prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Rotherham United at Vicarage Road on November 11, 2023
Jane Low, 80, and Maggie Davies, 80, (left to right) man the stall at High Street Kensington. They raked in £700 in two hours yesterday
‘I noticed how relatively few people are wearing poppies this year. On asking, one told me he couldn’t find a poppy seller while another said he was nervous being seen in London with one due to the demonstrations.’
Conservative MP Bob Seely told MailOnline: ‘I think millions of people up and down the country will be frankly, dismayed and appalled that a hard left rent a-mob seem to be intimidating Poppy sellers, many of whom are veterans doing their bit and taking a really important and valuable role in reminding us of the importance of Remembrance Sunday and the Remembrance weekend’.
Poppy sellers have told MailOnline that they will be not be cowed by the threat of protests, although three out of four at St Pancras on Friday were wearing bodycams in case there is trouble.
Many thanked people for their support as MPs urged Britons – and police officers – to wear poppies ‘with pride’ and in ‘solidarity’.
The RBL has said it is working closely with Network Rail, Transport for London, major supermarkets and the police to keep volunteers safe. They also spoke of safety measures but did not expand on those.
A spokesman said: ‘We have thousands of brilliant individuals who volunteer to collect donations for the Poppy Appeal each year, across cities, towns, villages and communities. We are reliant on the generous time these volunteers offer and we arrange Poppy Appeal collections as widely as possible but cannot provide volunteer cover at all locations throughout the whole appeal.
‘The safety of all Poppy Appeal volunteers is our number one priority. We have permission to collect at every location where Poppy Appeal volunteers are collecting, and assess those locations have measures in place to ensure the safety of our volunteers.’
At nearby High Street Kensington, Moranna Colvin, 77, remained upbeat despite the threats to the safety of poppy sellers.
She told MailOnline: ‘It’s nothing but extraordinary generosity. Not at all [scared]. Maybe it’s because it’s enclosed [at High Street Kensington station]. We are on our own and we are not afraid. The generosity is just amazing.’
Thousands of people set off marching from Hyde Park in London today as part of a huge demonstration in solidarity with the people of Palestine as they called for an immediate ceasefire.
The march will head towards the US embassy in Vauxhall, south of the Thames.
Chants of ‘free Palestine’ and ‘ceasefire now’ could be heard as some 300,000 protesters – according to the Met – set off, with police saying those gathered had so far been peaceful with no incidents reported.
This was in stark contrast to a march by thugs led by the far-right figure Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, which has seen repeated clashes with officers and missiles thrown at police.
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