We were blessed with dry weather for the early part of the build and by the end of the third week we were up to the top of the Tower fitting the Bell Tower Windows, and then on up to the Battlement Stones.
Dr Stephen Dowbiggin (red hat), then Principal and CEO of Capel Manor, was the driving force behind the project and the Head Gardeners, Julie Phipps & Mark Cook (left) took over where I and my team left off. Their planting and landscaping brought the whole scene to life.
It was a proud day on June 20th 2010 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Capel Manor and opened the Bell Tower and Cloister section of the Old Manor House Garden, naming it ‘The Queen’s Garden’.
Actually I had been pre-warned of this honour and in recognition of this I had hidden a coin from the reigns of both Queen Elizabeths among the mortar work. They are very well hidden, probably not worth trying to look!
As I watched Her Majesty during the speeches I saw an elderly lady, just like my Mum, looking around and taking everything in. I swear she looked me briefly in the eye and recognised me from our earlier introduction. It seemed like such a natural, personal moment away from all the formality, pomp and circumstance that she was so often surrounded by.