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18 August 2016
FOCUS ON THE CROCUS

LYNEMOUTH Parish Council has approved a proposal from the Rotary Club of Ashington for planting purple spring-flowering crocus bulbs at the Pit Wheel Mining Memorial or other suitable locations in Lynemouth.

The Rotary Club of Ashington has joined forces with the Parish Council and will be buying the 5,000 crocus corms to publicise Rotary’s ‘Purple4Polio’ campaign to eradicate polio.

Crocus tommasinianus, the woodland crocus, often referred to as 'tommies', were named after the botanist Muzio G. Spirito de Tommasini (1794-1879), who was Mayor of the city of Trieste. They are early or snow crocuses and are amongst the first to bloom.

The President Elect of the Rotary Club of Ashington, Revd. E. H. (Ted) Marley, OBE, said: “This initiative is designed to educate young people about the devastating disease of Polio and how Rotary is working to eradicate it from the world. As part of our campaign and fundraising Ashington Rotary Club will be planting crocuses in Lynemouth to highlight the existence of this devastating disease, especially to local school children.”

Parish Council Chairman, Councillor Elizabeth (Liz) Dunn said: “Planting spring-flowering bulbs at the Pit Wheel Mining Memorial or other suitable locations in late summer or autumn will provide a carpet of colour in Lynemouth next spring and year after year, and will look fantastic planted in a large group. Don’t step on our purple crocuses. They represent something very special.”

The Parish Council now needs some volunteers from the community to get involved in the mass planting this autumn. The bulbs should be planted from early autumn, preferably by the end of September.

A link could be made with the new Head of William Leech Campus Northumberland Church of England Academy involving pupils and students, parents, teachers and school staff.

You can help by contacting the Parish Clerk by email:  lynemouthparishcouncil@hotmail.co.uk or telephone: 07788 111729.

A purple crocus is the adopted emblem of Rotary Club International’s campaign to eradicate polio worldwide. Crocuses were chosen as the emblem as the purple colour matches the colour of the dye painted on children’s hands after they had been immunised.

The amazing progress of the campaign started in 1985 and has raised hundreds of millions of pounds with the Gates Foundation grant matching. The money goes to finance the immunisation programme which has almost eradicated polio worldwide with only one case reported in the whole of last year. The end goal is now insight, but complacency is now the fear. Africa could about to be declared polio free with Asia and Afghanistan coming close, but are not there yet.