Lady Haig's Poppy Factory

Intimately associated with the process of remembrance, Lady Haig's Poppy Factory produces all of the paper poppies and wreaths used in the November celebrations across Scotland. Now located on Warriston Road a mile (1.5 km) north of the centre of Edinburgh, the factory was established in 1926 at Whitefoord House on the Royal Mile, which remains a home for Scottish veterans, but soon moved to nearby Panmure Close. The founder was Lady Dorothy Haig, wife of First World War commander Field Marshal Douglas Haig (1861 - 1928). The factory moved to its current location in 1965, occupying a former printing works built of rough red sandstone with ashlar quoins and dressings, with its official opening the following year by the Duke of Edinburgh. Employing 40 ex-servicemen, the factory operates in conjunction with Earl Haig Fund Scotland, a charity set up in 1921 by Field Marshal Earl Haig to support veterans. It was once self-supporting based on earnings from the work completed and employed more than 100, but now relies on subsidies and grant-aid. The enterprise is still supported by members of the Haig family.

The Poppy Factory also provides a picture-framing service and offers tours to the public. More than a million poppies were destroyed when the Water of Leith flooded in 2000.

The first poppy factory opened in Richmond (Surrey) in 1922, with the idea of remembrance poppies - symbols of the fields of Flanders where so many died during the First World War - coming from two women; Moina Belle Michael, an American teacher, and Anna Guerin, who sold poppies throughout the US to raise money to benefit areas of France devastated by the war. It was Guerin who persuaded Earl Haig to adopt the poppy.

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