02/02/2018
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RAF centenary garden plans

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A military family history has inspired gold medal-winning garden designer Martyn Wilson to dream up a poignant Show Garden for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival. His ambitious vision will mark 100 years since the Royal Air Force was founded on April 1, 1918.

However, he needs help to bring his vision to reality so has launched a crowdfunding campaign. This will help secure the funds to craft pieces that will stand at the Three Counties Showground to commemorate the servicemen and women who have served in conflicts over the last 100 years.

Recognising such a significant milestone, Three Counties Showground has given over an area of land for the special garden, ‘Memories of Service’ to remain after RHS Malvern Spring Festival is over. It will stand as a permanent tribute to those from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire who served in the RAF. The garden will also highlight the three counties’ legacy, history and associations with the RAF as well as commemorating the end of World War I.

Martyn, from Worcester, who served as a senior aircraftsman in the RAF, is the third generation in his family to have dedicated their careers to serving the country. His brother, Peter Wilson, is a Warrant Officer at RAF Brize Norton along with his sister-in-law, Sergeant Sim Rezazadeh-Wilson. His father, Sergeant Barrie Wilson, and his grandfather, Flight Sergeant Arthur Brown, were both very proud to serve in the RAF.

Martyn said, “The RAF reaching its 100th birthday is such a significant milestone that I felt it deserves all our recognition. Living in Worcester and having served at RAF Hereford, what better place than the RHS Malvern Spring Festival to create this garden. I hope that visitors, servicemen and women, veterans and their families will enjoy this tribute and the garden and be proud of the Royal Air Force and all it has achieved in just 100 years.”

Martyn has secured sponsorship for his Show Garden hedges and lawn but needs to raise funds for the landscaping and planting, which he estimates could cost £35,000 in total.

The garden will be full of subtle nods to aviation history in layout and design and aims to help raise funds for military charities at RHS Malvern. Those who fund the project will be able to have the name of a loved-one laser cut into one of the permanent panels surrounding the garden for £100. To help Martyn reach his £35,000 funding target, please visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/raf-100-centenary-garden-rhs-malvern-show-2018.

Tickets are now on sale for RHS Malvern Spring Festival, which takes place from Thursday 10 May until Sunday 13 May. For more information visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk.

 

Don't forget, 100 Years of the RAF, a commemorative bookazine celebrating 100 years since the formation of the RAF, is now on sale. Order your copy by clicking on 100 RAF.

Catch up on militaria news, order a back issue of The Armourer, or pick up the latest issue, in either print or digital format. Like what you see? Why not take out a subscription, save money and have it delivered to your door.

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