Exploring the poppy’s story

The poppy is arguably one of the most iconic and poignant symbols across Scotland and the UK. Now, a new vehicle of exploration is sharing the story of the poppy, thanks to Poppyscotland.

Since 1926, a poppy factory has been in operation in Scotland after Lady Dorothy Haig – the wife of Field Marshal Earl Haig, Commander of the British Forces – launched the Scottish division. For almost 100 years, Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory has been in use to help support disabled veterans and provide them paid employment after their time in the Armed Forces.

Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory is a lifeline and essential charity working to support veterans. With the eightieth commemoration of WWII just starting, the importance of teaching Scottish students about the history of War and the symbolism of the poppy is ever present.

That’s where Bud comes in.


“At the heart of every poppy is someone’s emotions, opinions and stories, and that’s why we created Bud,” enthuses Poppyscotland chief executive Mark Bibbey. Bud is an innovative vehicle of exploration and learning; it is a truck that is set to provide interactive experiences to allow students – and the wider community – to create their own personal remembrance journey.

“This is not about imposing a particular view on visitors; quite the opposite in fact. Through contemporary conversations about the poppy and our heritage, we hope to better understand the significance of remembrance and its importance to society,” Mark continues.

“We aim to challenge assumptions and create conversations, and, ultimately, engage with a more diverse audience.”

Travelling across Scotland, Bud is preparing to go into schools to share Poppyscotland’s archive, veteran’s stories and the poppy’s history as a catalyst for challenging assumptions and creating conversations.

Beginning its journey in May of 2019, Bud – an 18-tonne interactive learning space – is preparing to hit the road for more than 220 days a year, visiting all 32 local authorities over the course of the next three years opening the minds of Scotland’s young people and changing the face of historical education.


There are many aspects that make Bud unique, and some of the elements include interviews with veterans currently working with Poppyscotland hand crafting poppies in Edinburgh, a poppy-making machine to allow students the opportunity to make their own poppy to take home, all the way to talking portraits of relevant characters both past and present.

Educational and engaging, Bud is also thought provoking, brings students into the heart of history and present day in a personal and moving way.

Mark continues: “Over the next three years, Bud will play an important role in exploring the history of remembrance, through the eyes of veterans and ex-service  men and women.

“It will be an absolute privilege to travel the length and breadth of the country, welcoming everyone on board to explore the space for themselves.”


Over the next three years of travel, Bud is preparing to talk about remembrance all year round, which is the true purpose of Bud. Keep conversations on remembrance current and bringing the story of the poppy and people’s experiences into the heart of every classroom: Bud truly is an innovative teaching tool.

Bud, through the interpretation and sharing of the heritage of the poppy in Scotland, has created a solid foundation upon which audiences, young and old, can build their understanding of this symbol of remembrance.

Intended to be for everyone, the truck – alongside visiting schools – will go to communities and events bringing people together to facilitate a shared understanding of contemporary and different perspectives of the poppy and remembrance in an increasingly multicultural Scotland.

Providing a welcoming and inspiring space in which to learn and share, using the collection, veterans’ stories and the poppy’s history as a stimulus for conversations and activities that students are sure to be immersed with.

Most importantly, Bud encourages visitors of all ages to explore and understand the cause of and ongoing need for the welfare services that Poppyscotland supports. Everyone who comes on board Bud leaves with a deeper understanding of the work of Poppyscotland, an organisation that works all year round to help those who have served and those still serving.


Bringing a new vision of learning into schools, Bud was made possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chancellor using LIBOR funds, who know exactly how integral Bud will be within Scotland’s educational landscape.

Riona McMorrow, acting head of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Scotland, adds: “With reports of conflict in the news almost daily, remembrance is as relevant now as it was after the First World War 100 years ago.

Bud is a unique and innovative idea which will expand on the work of Poppyscotland and Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory.” One little flower has a significant importance both historically and emotionally. As Scotland’s young people grow, you and your school can be the vessel – with the help of Poppyscotland and Bud – to shine a light on why we always need to remember.


Bring the poppy to life with the help of Poppyscotland and Bud, visit Bud’s page to arrange a visit.