Thetford gardeners given special proclamation by town crier for award-winning work

12:57 10 August 2014

Maggie Findlay and Marilyn Barrett with mayor Sylvia Armes and town crier Mike Wabe in Thetford town centre.

Maggie Findlay and Marilyn Barrett with mayor Sylvia Armes and town crier Mike Wabe in Thetford town centre.


A group of green-fingered women whose award-winning garden helped “put Thetford on the map” have given a town crier something to shout about at a special presentation.

The Monday Morning Club of Jane Varanand, Maggie Findlay, Marilyn Barrett and Anne Short scooped a silver gilt award at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show for their Thetford-inspired garden.

Two of the four were in Thetford town centre on Saturday to have their efforts acknowledged with a special proclamation from town crier, Mike Wabe.

Onlookers were treated to a typically bombastic cry, which ended with the couplet “those who saw it were all wowed, these four ladies have done us proud”.

Maggie Findlay said the experience of the last few month’s had been “marvellous” for the team.

“We’ve had such a great response to the garden and people were making a beeline for us at the show. Winning the silver gilt was so fantastic but people were even saying to us that we should have won a gold.

“There was a lot of effort that went into it and we are just pleased it came together so well,” she said.

The Thetford garden’s award was made all the more impressive by the stiff competition it was up against.

Mrs Findlay said the group had spent £19,000 on the garden, gathered through fund-raising and the selling of specially-made prints of the garden design.

But the budget for the winning Australian garden eclipsed theirs, coming in at £300,000.

Mrs Findlay said the show had helped raised Thetford’s profile.

“We took over 5,000 of our own leaflets about the garden, and more than 1,000 about the town itself and they all went.

“Hopefully we’ve given people here something to be proud of,” she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Sylvia Armes, Thetford’s mayor, who joined the group for the presentation.

“It’s the biggest thing Thetford has seen for many a year and it’s put us on the map even more.

“We’re so pleased with what they have done and I just want to say congratulations once again,” she said.

Do you have a story for us? Let us know by emailing reporter Andrew Fitchett on


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