An 85-year-old Blackrod man has sold his last Remembrance poppy and has been awarded a scroll of appreciation after decades of service.

Joe Catterall has sold his last poppy in aid of Blackrod Remembrance Sunday and the Blackrod Community Group have paid tribute for the 40 years of his dedicated service.

When the Blackrod British Legion branch closed in 2011, despite Joe's ill health, he assured the Blackrod Remembrance Sunday service would survive.

Joe and his partner Pauline Hilton, along with their granddaughter Amber, have since been the main link for organising the standards and the sale of poppies in the local community.

Joe served in Cyprus as part of the Lancashire Fusiliers in the 1950s and his gritty determination ensured the Blackrod Poppy Appeal would continue to honour our soldiers.

The Bolton News: Joe CatterallJoe Catterall (Image: Beryl Monaghan)He has dedicated his life to safeguarding the memories of those who have given their life for Queen and country, and he is now passing this responsibility onto Blackrod Community Group to organise in future years.

Blackrod Community Group has paid tribute for the four decades of dedicated service Joe has given to the village of Blackrod, and the major role he has taken in the organisation and delivery of poppy boxes through Blackrod and the local area working alongside the Royal British Legion.

Beryl Monaghan, chairperson of Blackrod Community Group, said: “I have known Joe and his family for many years, his partner Pauline Hilton represents the Poppy Appeal in the Blackrod Community Group.

“It was my pleasure to present Joe with this well deserved Scroll of Appreciation, if anyone deserves to be recognised in Blackrod for their outstanding dedication and service, it is definitely Joe Catterall.

“We as a group will carry on where Joe left off.  We have a strong core of local helpers in Blackrod which we hope to expand.”

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