Poppy roundels appear at London Tube stations as appeal kicks off

Special poppy roundels will appear across the TfL network (TfL)
Special poppy roundels will appear across the TfL network (TfL)

Poppy roundels, specially wrapped buses and unique station announcements are returning to London’s transport network this week as TfL kicks off the capital’s annual Poppy Appeal.

It comes as TfL marks 10 years of supporting the Royal British Legion in its efforts to raise money for members of the Armed Forces.

Londoners will be able to spot poppy roundels at 20 Tube, Overground and Elizabeth Line stations including London Bridge, Baker Street and King’s Cross, as well as several London buses wrapped with poppy designs.

The poppy roundels were made by family business AJ Wells & Sons based on the Isle of Wight, which has been making TfL roundels for more than 30 years. They will be located at Baker Street, Balham, Bethnal Green, Bounds Green, Canary Wharf, Colindale, King’s Cross, London Bridge and Westminster Tube stations.

Poppy roundels will also be located at Hackney Downs, Hatch End, Hoxton, Shepherd’s Bush and South Tottenham Overground stations.

Around 2,000 volunteers will be out in force at TfL stations on Thursday November 3 to collect donations from members of the public, which can be made by contactless payment, cash or online payment.

A special station announcement recorded by Eastenders actor Shane Richie will encourage customers to donate generously.

Specially wrapped poppy buses will operate on several routes (TfL)
Specially wrapped poppy buses will operate on several routes (TfL)

Money raised by the Royal British Legion goes towards providing physical and mental health recovery, wellbeing services and financial and employment advice to serving and ex-serving Armed Forces personnel.

Andy Taylor-Whyte, fundraising lead at the Royal British Legion, said: “We are extremely grateful for TfL’s fantastic support of the RBL’s Poppy Appeal each year. From the poppy roundels at stations to welcoming the hundreds of Armed Forces collectors who’ll be out across the network for this year’s London Poppy Day, we hope that commuters can help us raise as much as possible on this, our biggest fundraising day of the appeal.”

TfL is aiming to raise between £800,000 and £1 million on Poppy Day.

This year’s Poppy Day appeal looked to be in doubt and even faced cancellation due to planned rail strikes on Thursday November 3.

But transport union RMT agreed to move the date of the planned strike to November 9 to allow the fundraising appeal to go ahead.

In a tweet, the Royal British Legion said it was “very grateful” and that the organisers “appreciate the significance of this gesture”.

RMT members will still take part in a national rail strike on November 5, 7 and 9.