One simple idea to mark the centenary of Armistice Day has left a North East town seeing red.
Mount Beauty is decorated with more than a thousand knitted and crocheted poppies that adorn areas like the cenotaph, an arcade and trees along the main street.
The poppies have been created by a group of women, many of whom are members of Mount Beauty’s line dancing club or the Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Ladies.
Joy Partington, who belongs to both groups, said the project began after Anzac Day and had realised far more flowers than expected.
“We originally thought just a few hundred and we’d decorate just the cafe where we have our coffee after dancing, but we ended up with over 1100 poppies,” she said.
Mount Beauty RSL appeals officer Les Jordan said the 100th anniversary had sparked extra interest in the knitted tributes.
“I don’t think you can buy a piece of red wool anywhere in Victoria at the moment, it’s all been turned into poppies,” he said.
The RSL sub branch also has its usual shop front display but the poppies are a new element this year.
“It’s a pretty picture, everyone’s very supportive, all the visitors in town are quite overwhelmed by it all,” Mr Jordan said.
Mount Beauty line dancing teacher Robyn Quick said some of the poppies were made with purple wool to honour animals used in war.
“Those were for the horses that had to charge into action and there were donkeys of course, Simpson and his donkey, we know that story, and dogs and pigeons,” she said.
Mrs Quick said the realities of World War I continued to touch people’s emotions.
“In the trenches there, the lice and the mud, your heart breaks when you think about it,” she said.
“It was such a dreadful war and it is 100 years and I think as the years go by, we respect, and the younger generation are doing this too, respect even more the bravery.”
Mrs Partington said rain didn’t affect the poppies.
“We did a trial run in the weather, they get wet, but they dry and they still look OK, they’re fine,” she said.
“The girls all want to do the display every year on Remembrance Day, they’ve had so much fun they think they’ll just knit some more.”
Mrs Quick was proud of everyone involved.
“It’s something that started small and because of the significance of it, it just spread,” she said.
“It does your heart good, doesn’t it?”
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