The First World War had a long lasting impact on the town, from the effect it had on the hat industry to the development of new communities, with Lutonians welcoming workers from abroad. Many of our communities that exist in Luton today will have some connection to the war through their very own family history. Luton is commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, by hosting a variety of activities and events.
Love Luton first launched the Centenary programme back in 2014 with the launch of The Poppy Appeal. In the last four years we have planted more than 100,000 poppies in Luton. We have now held four successful bike rides. The first took place to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of when Great Britain declared war with a team of cyclists riding to Flanders. In 2015 the team marked the anniversary of the Battle of Loos and in 2016 the team commemorated 100 years since the Battle of Somme.
The fourth and final remembrance ride took place in September of this year. The cyclists rode 225 miles to Ypres stopping at cemeteries and war memorials along the way to pay their respects.
Over the years the cyclists have raised in excess of £25,000 for the Royal British Legion and Help the Heroes.