A FIELD of 2,000 textile poppies was unveiled at Bradford Industrial Museum yesterday.

The work has been created by nine groups of older people from across the district to commemorate the anniversary of the start of the First World War.

More than 100 people attended a poignant unveiling ceremony yesterday, where a group of young girls from Stagecoach Theatre Arts Bradford sang and performed It's A Long Way to Tipperary and Green Fields of France.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Mike Gibbons described the youngsters' performance as "wonderful", and added: "Some of the words were very hard to listen to without getting emotional.

"Looking at these poppies makes you think about why we are stood here. It is sometimes difficult to accept that this happened, but it did happen.

"Thank you to the groups that put this poppy field together - it is an absolutely wonderful sight to see. Thank you on behalf of Bradford district for producing what is an absolutely wonderful piece of work, and for remembering."

The nine groups were: African Caribbean Elder at Mary Seacole Court; Airedale Embroiderers' Guild; Community Work Older People's Project; Denholme Elders Network; Budda Buddies at Grange Interlink Community Centre; Members of the Polish Community Day Centre; Shree Krishna Day Centre Group; St Andrew's Methodist Church Luncheon Group; and Thornton Antiquarian Society.

They worked with Bradford Council's museums and galleries staff to make the fabric flowers, which were sewn into a five metre square sheet representing a field.

Those who took part in the project learnt about the Bradford Pals (the 16th and 18th battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment) and shared their own personal and family experiences of the first and second world wars.

On 1 July 1916, 2,000 men from Bradford left their trenches to cross 'no man's land' in the first hour of the the first day of the battle of the Somme. A large number of these men died. Most would have been friends and work mates who had enlisted together.

Posters at the industrial museum yesterday contained snippets from family members recounting memories of loved ones who fought in both world wars.

The poppy field will be displayed at various venues throughout the district over next four years, along with the testimonies collected as part of this project.

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Executive Member for Employment, Skills and Culture, said: "This piece is both a striking and poignant tribute to those who lost their lives or were injured in the First World War. The project also has the added value of bringing people together to share their memories."