Saturday was a wonderful finale to what has been a challenging yet inspiring project to have been a part of.
With a full cast of local dignitaries including Deputy Lord Lieutenant Geoff Branch, Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, Andrew Jenner, Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen and Britain’s best beloved gardener Alan Titchmarsh we gathered at the top of the Long Walk and were treated to the wonderful choral voices of The Courtiers.
After a windswept speech from myself, Alan Titchmarsh spoke without notes and from the heart for 10 minutes on why gardeners and horticulturalist are so important to the nation. ‘Without gardeners and plant growers none of us would be here’ he reminded us and quoted from Jonathon Swift that …”whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.”
Following that we cut two ribbons at either end of the Arch to mark its opening. Firstly The Governor of Windsor Castle first to signify Her Majestys representative from the castle end and then The deputy Lord Lieutenant Her Majestys reporesentative of Berkshire.
We then wandered under the wonderful Arches with a glass of bubbly and nibbles and took photograps and The Mayor gave out certificates of thanks to the key people in the project.
It was an exhausting but joyful and up lifting occasion and a suitable end to the constrcution part of the project.
Now we will endevour to sell each Arch to raise money for the Coronation Legacy Fund that will provide a bursary to a young, local, deserving horticulturalist every year for the next 60 years. I am happy to say that we have had confirmation already of the sale of one Arch and an option on another. A good start by any standards.