Poppy Appeal bosses have thanked the "amazingly generous" people of Uttoxeter as they look set to smash their collection total again.

Throughout last year up to September this year, the total raised in the town area for the Royal British Legion (RBL) fund to support brave servicemen and their families was a staggering £43,000.

And less than six weeks into this year's appeal, Uttoxeter's fantastic fund-raisers have already passed the £42,000 mark.

With a hefty proportion of donations still to be counted up, this means last year's record total will be comfortably beaten.

The Uttoxeter Poppy Appeal 2017 is set to raise a record total. Gordon Stubbs collecting in Uttoxeter Tesco
Gordon Stubbs collecting in Uttoxeter Tesco

Area organiser Judith Leedham said: "There's been such tremendous support again from everyone.

"All the stalls and collections have been so busy. The great thing about the Poppy Appeal is that everyone just comes to you because of the respect they have for the cause.

"And aside from the fund-raising, we've had some marvellous chats with people who have come up and donated.

Super-skillful skating schoolgirl and army cadet takes to the ice to aid Poppy Appeal

"It's really wonderful that they'll talk to us about their personal experiences. That communication is one of the best things about the job. We'll never forget some of those stories."

This year's appeal saw Uttoxeter town centre's streets and shops covered in decorative poppies to promote the appeal.

Uttoxeter Poppy Appeal launch 2017. Co-ordinator Judith Leedham (left) at the poppy stand at the town hall with daughter Trudy Leedham and cousin Rhoda Ridout
Co-ordinator Judith Leedham (left) with daughter Trudy Leedham and cousin Rhoda Ridout

Judith said: "We thought we'd test the water to see how it went down as we were always planning to do it next year to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

"And all the comments we've had have been absolutely wonderful, so a massive thanks to all the shops that decorated their premises to beautifully.

"I don't want to tempt fate, but we're very hopeful we'll break the record again next year, with it being such a massive year for remembrance.

The Uttoxeter Poppy Appeal 2017 is set to raise a record total. John and Maureen Hollins collecting in Uttoxeter Waitrose
John and Maureen Hollins collecting in Uttoxeter Waitrose

"We've got a couple of big things planned and are hoping for the same level of support that we got this year in and around the town."

Among those reserved for special thanks are the Crafty group based at St Michael's Church, Rocester. Members knitted and sold woollen poppies, which raised £1,150 for the appeal.

Tesco, Waitrose and Asda have also provided sizable sums through their annual collection boxes. A total of £1,140 was raised at Uttoxeter Racecourse with a race day collection last month.

The Uttoxeter Poppy Appeal 2017 is set to raise a record total. The poppy display at Picknalls First School
The poppy display at Picknalls First School

Judith said: "We'd like to thank them for their hospitality, as well as all the helpers who manned the stands.

"Everyone who stood outside in the cold with collection boxes on the streets and outside the town hall have also done a magnificent job.

"Massive thanks also go to all the businesses and offices who hosted collections. And the schools all made a fantastic effort, with each one generating a record amount.

"They made some wonderful displays, showing they'd also been taught about the history."