AN AMBITIOUS woodcarving project helped to raise thousands of pounds for a Huddersfield charity.

West Riding Woodcarvers’ Association gave £8,000 to the West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust after thousands of people flocked to see 95 carvings depicting scenes from both world wars.

The carvings were put together to make two panels measuring 10ft by 5ft.

They spent a week on display at Halifax Town Hall before being moved to Huddersfield Parish Church and then to the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds, where they were unveiled by Prince Michael of Kent on Remembrance Day, November 11.

About 2,000 booklets explaining the project and giving details about the images portrayed on the carvings were sold and are still on sale at the Royal Armouries. More will soon be on sale at the six Forget Me Not Trust shops.

Woodcarvers’ Association secretary John Murphy: “It’s by far the most ambitious project we’ve ever undertaken.

“About 8,000 hours went into the carvings, plus the hundreds of hours that went into selecting the pictures, the planning process and the writing of the booklet.

“We were really pleased that so many people came to see them.”

The woodcarvers’ association is part of the Huddersfield and District University of the Third Age (U3A), based at Bradley Bar.

More than 50 carvers spent 12 months working on the panels, which took nine months to design.

Mr Murphy said visitors were divided into those who were interested in craftsmanship and those who had an interest in war history.

The carvings will remain on display at the Royal Armouries.

Gina Fielding, of the West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust – which is building a children’s hospice and respite centre in Brackenhall – said the money was a huge boost.

She said: “We were delighted. When I announced how much we had received in the office there was a big cheer. It’s a phenomenal amount of money.

“I went to see the carvings when they were in Huddersfield and they were incredibly impressive and so detailed.”

A further 900 booklets are available. The money raised from their sale will also go to the trust.

The woodcarvers’ association now intends to produce some pieces of work to go in the hospice when it is finished.