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Bromley poppy appeal raises more than £10,000 despite thefts

PUBLISHED: 12:01 19 January 2012

Margaret Clarke

Margaret Clarke

Archant

Despite the theft of five poppy collection boxes from the High Street this year’s Poppy collection raised £10,000 more than the previous effort.

Orpington and District Royal British Legion collected £37,837.87 during the appeal period in November .

Branch treasurer and organiser of the Poppy Appeal collection Margaret Clarke said: “The people of Orpington are always most generous and supportive of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and this year has been no exception.

“Despite the present economic climate we managed to raise £10,000 more than for the same period in 2010.”

She added: “This magnificent sum is in spite of five poppy collection boxes being stolen from Orpington High Street this year.

“On behalf of The Poppy Appeal and those who will benefit from it, I would like to thank everyone who helped or donated to the appeal.”

She said collection boxes were taken from several shops on the High Street – including WHSmith and Costa Coffee – and have not yet been recovered.

Mrs Clarke has served as the branch treasurer for the last 16 years and joined the British Legion after serving with the RAF from 1957 to 1961.

Her husband Alan, who saw action in Suez, is president of the branch, which has 400 members.

Their son Nigel served on the Sir Galahad which was hit in the Falklands War in 1982 and is now Commanding Officer of TS Kent, of the Chislehurst and Sidcup Sea Cadet Unit.

Mrs Clarke is planning some more fundraising events this year, before the annual big push around November’s Remembrance Sunday, to support former servicemen and women.

The Hayes branch of the Royal British Legion has so far raised £18,500 and are on target to collect £23,000.

Pupils from Hayes School helped with the collection to boost the appeal.

Poppy appeal organiser Pauline Brown said: “We aim to increase membership and are keen to inform all in the community that we offer membership to all, not only ex-servicemen and women.”

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