You might have heard or seen a lorry called “The Poppy Truck”, famous for the Union Jack flag painted on its body and poppies on the trailer, to celebrate and remember war veterans. If you don’t know what I am talking about… here’s what it looks like:
The owner and driver of this amazing truck is Christine Langham, who has been a driver for more than 11 years. With Remembrance Day on the horizon (11 November), we had a chat with her about this extraordinary project.
Hi Christine, tell us a little bit about yourself
Well, I’m Christine, I’m 47 years old and I live in Hull.
I started to drive lorries as a change of career. I had enough of my previous job and I wanted something different. Now I’ve been a truck driver for 11 years and still love it.
When did you come up with the idea of the Poppy Truck?
About 8 years ago I entered a competition to design your own truck. The prize was to get the art actually put on your lorry.
I didn’t win in the end, but two years ago, I said to myself: “you know what? I’m gonna do it! before I get too old, I’m gonna do it!”.
The main reason why I decided to do this truck was my way to say thank you to all the men and women
who sacrificed their lives in the World Wars and as a commemoration for my late father.
What did the Royal British Legion think of your design?
They had some concerns about my use of the poppy symbol at first, , but after few meetings we came to an agreement. In the end, we’re all after the same goal: commemorating those brave men and women who were willing to give their lives for us.
Now we have a 10 year contract in place with the RBL to work with them and raise funding for the same cause.
Your social following is massive, with more than 28,000 people following you, what’s the kind feedback do you receive?
The amount of support I get from my followers is incredible. You always get people who write some negative comments, of course, and some think I am doing this for personal gains. Obviously, I only do this to spread awareness and respect for the veterans.
Sometimes I feel like I should give up on this, but I get so many positive comments too that I keep going because I realise this is an important thing to do.
Why do you think the poppy tradition is so important?
In the First World War and the Second World War, these soldiers didn’t have a choice. They were told to go and fight for their kids and their country. Even if they didn’t want to go, they were locked up. They did it all for their country.
They sacrificed everything and it’s important for us to say thank you for the sacrifice that they made because we wouldn’t have what we have today if they didn’t do it. We want to show our support for the families who lost their loved ones.
Do you have any special messages you want to share before Remembrance Day?
Yes, that we will remember them and a big big thank you to everyone. Even those who are in Afghanistan, thank you. We don’t say that often enough, but if we do it a little bit everyday, as I do with my truck, it’s a constant reminder for us and for the young generations.
Where are we going to see the poppy truck next?
8th November All Saints Church in Stoke on Trent
10th November Bare community in Morecambe 11th November Ixworth Suffolk
13th November moot hall in Cumbria
26th November opening Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth
Watch all the Poppy Truck pictures in the gallery below!