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More than 300 rocks lined the streets of Diss for Remembrance Parade

PUBLISHED: 10:21 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:26 14 November 2017

Rememberance Day Stones left on the war memorial. Picture: Penny Anderson

Rememberance Day Stones left on the war memorial. Picture: Penny Anderson

Penny Anderson

A fun and simple past-time has grown in popularity around the region and has now been used to help youngsters understand the meaning behind one the country’s largest memorial days.

Rock painting has grown online as thousands of people paint rocks and hide them around our towns, cities and countryside.

One Diss resident had the idea to turn this creative hobby into a way of teaching youngsters about Remembrance Sunday.

Penny Anderson, 37, had the idea after reading about the rocks online and thought that she could place them through Diss High Street, lining the parade route.

She said: “Every year my daughter does the Remembrance parade and I was trying to help her have a better understanding of the day.

“We have been finding these stones with different cartoon characters and other pictures but then it came to us - we should do poppy ones.”

Mrs Anderson took the idea to Facebook to see if anyone else would be interested in the idea. The response was bigger than she expected.

“It just kept growing and the response was really positive,” Mrs Anderson added, “because so many people started coming to me online and saying that it was a good idea I decided to approach some of the schools in the area.”

She reached out to Diss Junior School, Roydon Primary School, Scole Primary, Bressingham Primary School, the Swan Nursery School and Diss Children’s Centre which got involved by having pupils paint their rocks.

After the parade the children were invited to take a rock and either re-hide it or place it around the memorial.

Mrs Anderson said: “The idea is if another child finds one then that child might turn to their family and say: ‘What is this poppy about?’ and it will start up the dialogue again.

“When we think of the First and Second World War, for children now that would be going back to their great grandparents, which is a million miles away to some children.

“The point of the poppy is raise awareness.”

More than 300 stones were brought to Diss and put in the town for Remembrance Parade, with many being taken by youngsters.

Mrs Anderson hopes to work with the Diss Children’s Centre to increase the amount of painted rocks for next year.

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