Ellesmere’s poppy appeal has hit a record high total for the second time in four years.

The local branch of the Royal British Legion has revealed that £11,869 has been raised in the past 12 months, smashing the previous record of £10,008 set in 2014/15.

“Absolutely incredible,”was the reaction of appeal organiser Lynn Howard, who leads a small team of fund-raising volunteers.

“We guessed a few weeks ago that we’d beaten our previous best total, but it still came as a real surprise when we tallied up the final figures and found that we’d collected so much. It’s hard to believe that the people of a little town like ours can be so generous. On behalf of the Legion, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made a donation.”

Apart from house-to-house and street collections, businesses, schools and other organisations also played a big part in the fund-raising effort. Legion members have also been involved in various fund-raising activities from the annual poppy concert and a quiz night to providing refreshments at Ellesmere’s weekly market, the Ellesmere Festival and the town carnival.

For Cain Jones from Welsh Frankton, it meant going more than the extra mile for the appeal..

The 23-year-old who works in his father’s business, Border Trailers, raised £735 for by running the Shrewsbury half marathon in June.

“It was the first time I’d ever competed in anything like this,” said Cain, who was sponsored by family, friends and members of Frankton cricket club where he captains the second X1.

“It was pretty hard going towards the end but I was delighted to reach the finish line and raise money for the poppy appeal.”

Now the Legion’s Ellesmere branch is hoping to enlist more volunteers for the launch of the next appeal at the end of October.

Chairman Ian Williams said: “Since the start of the First World War centenary in 2014, we’ve had the most amazing support from the people of Ellesmere and district and we can’t thank them enough. The centenary commemorations come to an end with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice on November 11, so we’re hoping to make it special.

“We’re constantly looking for new members and this is an opportunity for people to come forward and help. We’re only a small branch and we’d welcome new faces --you don’t have to have served in the forces to belong to the Legion. It’s open to everyone.”

For more information, please contact Ian on 07799 778575