David (Tiny) French - Part 1: Early Years and Starting in the Garden
Tiny grew up with a trowel in his hands in a pair of caravans his father made from a crashed aircraft. He came to the Garden in 1970 on his sandwich year from Writtle College. He introduces us to the incredible cast of characters he met while at the Garden.
David (Tiny) French - Part 2: Tales from the Garden
Tiny describes Mr Gilmour, the Garden Director, and the antics he and his fellow workers got up to. From the unofficial Systematic Olympics to playing tricks on colleagues, he tells us of the fun they had while be given ‘uncountable facts, figures and experiences’.
Jim enjoyed a long career with the Royal Horticultural Society, serving as Curator and Chief Curator at the Society’s flagship garden at Wisley before taking up an ambassadorial role as the Society’s Executive Vice President. He came to the Botanic Garden as a middle year horticultural student from Askham Bryan College in the early 1970s.
Working in the Propagation Department in the late 1960s with Norman Villis and in the Glasshouses with Sid Glover, Keith recalls Sid singing ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’ on loop while they worked!
Steve came as a middle year student from Askham Bryan College in York to join the Garden’s horticultural training scheme in 1976, the year of record-breaking summer temperatures. He recalls the effects of the drought on the Garden, the lure of the Panton Tap (the local pub), Christmas carolling and setting fire to the Lake! Still an avid plantsman and collector, Steve now holds three National Collections including that for Agapanthus.
Roy Lancaster - Part 1: Early Life & Influences
Roy – plantsman, gardener, author and broadcaster – came to the Garden as a horticultural student. His love of plants began on walks in the country-side near his childhood home with friends.
Roy Lancaster - Part 2: Coming to Cambridge
Roy came to Cambridge because of a girl, but the Garden opened his eyes to a wealth of plant knowledge. He experienced ‘serious learning and lashings of fun’ during his time there in the 1970s.
A member of the Royal Horticultural Society for almost 40 years, he was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour in 1988 and was made an OBE in the 1999 for services to horticulture. He has appeared regularly on the BBC TV programme Gardener’s World and the BBC Radio Show Gardeners’ Question Time.
Bob trained at the Garden 1965-7. He then enjoyed choosing plants that referenced the Garden wherever his distinguished career in public parks took him.
Mike recalls selling duck eggs to the Panton Arms (the local pub) and the Christmas parties held by the Garden’s Director, Max Walter and his wife. During his time in the Garden he worked on the new Winter Garden and the Rock Garden water feature.