Sunday, 23 November 2014

Holly&Lil around the World

We have been very lucky to have been included in quite a few travel books around the World.  The Travel Writers are very meticulous in their research and come with a journalist and photographer to get it all spot on.  We are very grateful and thankful as nothing is more fun than a coach load of Japanese Tourists arriving knowing exactly what size they want!  We are so useless at speaking Japanese; though Alex is thinking of doing a course and Chelsea has picked up a few phrases.
Here are a few examples.

Visit Holly&Lil at our shop in London 103 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XB
or see our web shop


Visit Holly&Lil at our shop in London 103 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XB
or see our web shop

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Flower Power - Animals at War

This has been a year full of flowers.  The moving and perfectly beautiful  Poppy tribute at Tower Bridge has moved people to think more of what innocence is lost and what pain and cost war makes a nation and its people pay. The blood red poppies spilling and sprawling out are just heart-wrenching.

Over the summer one of our clients Jess came and asked me to create a purple poppy for her dog Alfie.  Alfie is a stunning boy and we are proud to say he wears many a Holly&Lil.


I did not fully understand why Jess wanted a purple poppy harness?  But she explained a wee bit more to me;  she had seen this picture of a Frenchie.  ''It was this little Frenchie that inspired the collar too. He delivered ciggys to the soldiers in the trenches'' 

Jess  felt she wanted Alfie to honour him and all the animals that have helped us in wars over the years.  ''...purple represents the animals that died in the war while red is for humans. I think it was animal aid that started it.''

''I've been wanting to send you pics of Alfies purple poppy for some time. But wanted the photos to show the meaning behind our design. so i took him to the animal war memorial in Marble Arch and taught him about his ancestors lol''

The Animals in War Memorial is a war memorial in Hyde Park, London. It is located on Park Lane at its junction with Upper Brook Street, on the eastern edge of the park. The memorial was designed by English sculptor David Backhouse to commemorate the countless animals that have served and died under British military command throughout history. It was unveiled in November 2004 by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.

There are so many stories to read and research and I hope many of you will take the time to do so.

This is Jacks story an Airdale in WWI. (Thanks to The Telegraph)

In 1918, a detachment of the Foresters were at an advanced post, surrounded by the German Army, all communications cut off and with the supply lines four miles behind them. Their only hope rested on Jack’s fragile shoulders. A message requesting urgent help was tied to his collar, and he was dispatched to try and make it to headquarters. The Great War messenger dogs were taught to seek out cover amid the carnage of No Man’s Land. As Jack darted between craters, he was struck twice by German bullets. He made it, but only at a crawl, covered in blood and died of his injuries on arrival. The message, however, got through. 

Jack was one of some 20,000 dogs to serve on the Western Front, like many, he was recruited from London’s Battersea Dogs Home. Despite his heroism, he never received a medal. The PDSA’s Dickin Medal to honour the bravery of animals in war was only introduced in Britain in 1943. 

This is Robert Studleers beautiful Flora

Ideally the army wanted lurchers, known as the poacher’s dog and perfectly suited to war, as well as airedales, collies, sheepdogs and whippets. By 1915 his training centre was up and running.  The thought of Gus or Holly being used breaks your heart.
Sometimes, however, the dog’s main role was simply to raise morale. To chase away the vast lumbering rats that surfed through the mud; or act as man’s best friend in the most inhumane of environments.  I am sure many of our dogs would have been marvelous at that!

Animal Aid started the purple poppy appeal and I hope next year we may be able to do a charity poppy and donate some money to them
Union |Rose