Norman ‘Dixie’ Dean, Subpostmaster of Pontycymer Post Office, is the Poppy Appeal Organiser and Branch Secretary of the Garw Valley Branch the Royal British Legion.
Since 2005, the soldier-turned-postmaster has raised thousands of pounds through running the Poppy Appeal Concert in the heart of the South Wales Valleys. Last year it featured the Band and Corps of Drums of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines along with the Maesteg Male Voice Choir who were joined by three local primary schools.
After serving in the British Army for 25 years he said, “I feel it’s really important to make people aware of why the Poppy Appeal exists, and to get younger people involved as well.”
This year, he has created a striking tribute to those who gave their lives for their country – see pictures below.
8ft Wooden Poppy Wreath that took Subpostmaster ‘Dixie’ Dean 3 weeks to make. On it are 295 wooden poppy crosses bearing the names of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice from the Garw valley from 1914 to 2007.
Once Remembrance is over the wreath will hopefully be placed on a wall at one of the two primary schools in the valley so that the pupils will be able to continue to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom.
The second photo shows the Poppies that he and others have placed on the Lamp Posts from Blaengarw in the North of the Valley to Brymenyn in the South: a total of about 6 miles.