Angus culture chiefs have apologised over a poppy appeal furore which veterans had feared would see collection boxes banned from Forfar facilities in the lead up to the Armistice centenary commemorations.
Royal British Legion Scotland national chairman Charlie Brown was shocked to be told he could not put poppies and appeal collection boxes at the counter of the town’s library and Meffan museum when he went to drop them there last week.
The local authority’s arm’s length Angus Alive culture and leisure trust has now described the refusal as a “miscommunication” and said the situation will be sorted for this year’s remembrance period and the future.
Mr Brown, who for more than 20 years was an Angus Council officer and was instrumental in organising military and veteran events, including Remembrance and Armed Forces Day ceremonies, said he had been disappointed by the apparent snub.
The matter led to an outcry on local social media but after becoming aware of the situation, Angus Alive officials moved to rectify it and apologised for the mix-up.
An Angus Alive spokesperson said: “Our marketing officer has today been in touch with Poppy Scotland to ask that their collections officer for Angus gets in touch, as some of our key venues have been missed.
“In relation to the library and Meffan facilities in Forfar, this was a miscommunication with frontline staff and will be rectified.
“We can only apologise for any upset caused in this instance.”
Angus Alive said Poppy Scotland appeal collection boxes will be in place at Arbroath library, sports centre and Saltire centre, Brechin’s library and community campus, Carnoustie sports centre and library, Montrose library and sports centre, as well as Forfar and Kirrie libraries.
“For future, we will ensure arrangement of Poppy Scotland collections are organised centrally to ensure that where feasible, all of our venues and facilities are covered.”
Mr Brown said: “I am very happy that there has been a change of heart, and hopefully from now on Angus Alive, Poppy Scotland and Royal British Legion Scotland can work hand in hand to ensure our veterans are supported through important appeals such as this.”
Angus Alive added: “We also have a series of events to mark the 100th anniversary.
“On Friday November 9 we are launching our series of booklets highlighting Angus Home Front in World War I at Brechin Town House museum.”
The following day, Arbroath’s Signal Tower Museum will host a talk entitled 1918: End Game in which historian Dr Fraser Brown will discuss what the end of the war meant for the allies and how it affected people.
On Sunday November 11 at 7.30pm, Arbroath’s Webster Theatre is hosting the Lest We Forget, Remembrance Day concert and the town’s Signal Tower museum will be lit up as part of Poppy Scotland’s #LightUpRed campaign.