A WAR of words has broken out in Whitby after “tatty” poppy wreaths were removed from a memorial - to help win a Britain in Bloom competition.
The wreaths, which have been in situ since Remembrance Day in November, became the centre of controversy after suggestions they would not sit favourably with the judges of the contest.
Whitby in Bloom contacted the town council about the appearance of the wreaths and the decision was taken by the council to remove them in time for the judging on Wednesday.
But Alison Paylor, mum of Corporal Damian Lawrence who was killed in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan in April 2008, has hit out at the decision which she feels has offended families of fallen soldiers.
She said: As the mother of one of the fallen, I am appalled. I hope they realise how many people they have offended.
Although the oral tributres, apart from one which had fallen apart, were put back on the memorial at Dock End by Friday it has left a bitter taste.
Colin Winspear who works with the town council’s armed forces working party said: They have been sat there all that time and nobody said anything about it and then this competition comes up and that is what has upset people.
They are weathered but dont look tatty at all.
The Whitby In Bloom group said it had been contacted by three members of the public following the removal of the wreaths.
A spokesperson said: After consultation with the War Grave Commission, Whitby in Bloom approached the Town Council to suggest that the wreaths had deteriorated to the extent that they now detracted from the appearance of the memorial.
We did not request their removal although this is in line with the War Grave Commission advice.