A Watton removal firm hopes to raise the awareness of Remembrance Day by putting large red poppies on its vehicles.

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RAF Watton history

RAF Watton was built in 1938 off Norwich Road and was a bomber station for five squadrons and ceased being an operational airfield by 1968.

In the post war years the site had a number of visiting units, the least known of which was an American unit operating Lockheed U2 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft. These aircraft flew from Watton for a period during the latter part of 1958.

The site was also an Eastern Radar Station, which monitored air traffic, and by February 1971 Eastern Radar was the only operational unit on Watton.

Eastern Radar left Watton in 1988 and Border Radar moved in to the radar site. When Border Radar left three years later the Station closed.

All maintenance of the buildings ceased in 1994 and the site was sold four years later.

Hadley and Ottaway, based in Neaton Business Park, off Norwich Road, also offers Royal British Legion (RBL) members 10pc discount all year round.

This was the first year the business, which started in 1928, has put the large plastic poppies on their seven removal vans.

David Galer, managing director of Hadley and Ottaway, said: “Because Watton has been long associated with the RAF and because of our connection with Watton we decided to support the RBL. The trucks stand out quite a bit but staff feel good that we are doing something worthwhile. Everyone is chuffed about it.”

The company, which moved from Norwich to Watton last year, will keep the poppies on the front of the large vehicles until Friday, November 11 when the country remembers soldiers who have died in past and present conflicts, as well as their families.

David Sell, 74, treasurer of Watton’s RBL, said: “It is a brilliant idea. From the sheer amount of injuries we have seen from recent conflicts the families are going to need support for years to come. The RBL is not just an old mans’ organisation.”

Each year the RBL, which was set up 90 years ago, sells red poppies across the country to raise funds for the charity.

The poppies are made in a factory in Richmond, Surrey, where 50 ex-servicemen and disabled people make more than 40m poppies. The large poppies will also be made at this site.

Currently some of the money raised for the RBL goes towards rehabilitation centres for servicemen and ex-servicemen with physical disabilities and mental health problems.

Kate Williams, manager for RBL in the east, added: “It is really good Hadley and Ottaway have got the large poppies on the front of the vans. It will hopefully put the poppy appeal in the forefront of people’s minds, particularly for people who are moving. They are doing a great service for them.”

She added that the large poppies looked great.

To contact Hadley and Ottaway ring 01953 884841.

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