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Secrets of Sandringham Flower Show chairman David Reeve

PUBLISHED: 15:23 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:02 17 July 2019

David Reeve, long-standing Chairman of the Sandringham Flower Show. PHOTO: IAN BURT

David Reeve, long-standing Chairman of the Sandringham Flower Show. PHOTO: IAN BURT

Archant © 2006

David Reeve MVO, MBE is a native of Norfolk who spent 34 years in the Norfolk Constabulary, retiring as Chief Superintendent with responsibility for the protection of our Royal Family when in Norfolk. In his spare time, he has spent over 30 years on the committee of the Sandringham Flower Show, the last 20 as Chairman. David was awarded the MVO for personal services to Her Majesty The Queen when he retired from the Police and later the MBE for his services to the communities of Norfolk. He talks to Gina Long MBE

David Reeve with the Queen Mother at Sandringham Flower Show 2000David Reeve with the Queen Mother at Sandringham Flower Show 2000

In his spare time, he has spent over 30 years on the committee of the Sandringham Flower Show, the last 20 as Chairman. David was awarded the MVO for personal services to Her Majesty The Queen when he retired from the Police and later the MBE for his services to the communities of Norfolk. He talks to Gina Long MBE.

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I was born in a small village east of Norwich and have lived in Norfolk all my life. Whilst I have travelled extensively, I always enjoy returning to Norfolk and have never been tempted to move elsewhere.

David Reeve with Prince Charles at Sandringham Flower ShowDavid Reeve with Prince Charles at Sandringham Flower Show

What is your East Anglian Heaven i.e. what do you love most about East Anglia?

I love the fact that East Anglia has one of the lowest rainfalls in the country as I hate rainy days. The North Norfolk coast has many spots that are unchanged by the passage of time and I love visiting them and letting my mind drift into times gone by.

What is your East Anglian Hell i.e. what you hate most about living here?

My response is a little contradictory in that whilst I am pleased we are not part of the motorway network, heavy and slow traffic with limited overtaking opportunities on some of our poorer roads does frustrate me.

What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

We are inclined to vary our eating venues as we find that chefs and owners tend to move around quite a bit. Currently, we thoroughly enjoy dining at The Dun Cow at Salthouse or Cantley Cock.

What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

Sitting with my wife and our little dog on our boat on the tranquil Norfolk Broads, often with friends and a nice Gin and Tonic.

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

I clearly have a strong bias having worked and lived on the Royal Estate at Sandringham for some years. I love everything about the estate. Beautiful woods to walk the dog, superb gardens and endless quiet corners to relax in and a stone's throw from the coast.

What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

The Sandringham Flower Show of course!

What is your specialist Mastermind subject?

Not applicable to me as I would not get past the preliminaries.

What is always in your fridge?

Yogurt, cheese and a range of soft drinks

What's your simple philosophy of life?

Put others before yourself and try and be helpful.

What's your favourite film?

I am not a great film buff but I did enjoy Kevin Costner in 'Dances with Wolves'.

What was your first job?

Working in my school holidays on the local farm. Being trusted to drive tractors (illegal of course) in the harvest and getting paid for it.

What is your most treasured possession?

I have signed photographs of various members of the Royal Family presented to me on my retirement from the Norfolk Constabulary.

Who do you admire most?

My wife and Her Majesty The Queen.

What is your biggest indulgence?

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Owning a boat. An expensive hobby and likened to throwing money into a well, but for us, it represents an opportunity to totally relax.

What do you like about yourself most?

Accepting that I will never set the world alight but hope that I would be regarded as loyal and reliable. I love helping people and always try to make time for the needs of others.

What's your worst character trait?

I am terribly impatient. When something needs doing, it has to be done 'yesterday' as I hate waiting and sometimes my hurried approach proves disastrous.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

We regularly visit Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca. It is a quiet and beautiful resort and the hotel we stay in cannot be faulted.

Best day of your life?

Being sworn in as a police officer and, in doing so, fulfilled a long-held ambition to join the Norfolk Constabulary.

What's your favourite breakfast?

When at home, a simple cereal is all I have but when on holiday I go for a full English breakfast.

What's your favourite tipple?

I am not a big drinker and prefer a soft drink (how boring!) but I do enjoy a Gin and Tonic on odd occasions.

What's your hidden talent?

My talents are so well hidden even I haven't found them. I do enjoy organising things, whether they are small events or large occasions.

When were you most embarrassed?

I am well known for being accident prone so there are numerous incidents, many forming the basis of my charitable talks, but one that springs to mind is when participating in a buffet lunch, with some very distinguished people, I poured chocolate sauce on my chicken salad thinking it was the salad dressing!

What's your earliest memory?

Being transported on my dad's cycle (crossbar seat) to his market garden in the village.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Personally, I believe that my funeral arrangements, including the music, should be chosen by my wife as she will be there and hear it and I will not.

Tell us something people don't know about you?

Few people are aware that I studied music for many years and am a reasonable pianist.

What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

"Strong winds and rain are forecast for tomorrow".

Tell us why you live here?

If you live in a place you love, why move? As we say in Norfolk, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

No guesses for this answer - hoping your readers consider coming along to The Sandringham Flower Show on July 24. Widely regarded as one of the finest one-day shows in the country, it retains the 'village fete' atmosphere. It has a wide variety of horticultural exhibitors, excellent arena events and is held in one of the most beautiful locations in the country and attended by their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. It's an excellent day out for the whole family and admission is only £12.50. All proceeds go to local charities and, to date, we have given nearly £800,000.

Contact Gina Long @geewizzgee1 or email gina@hallfarmfornham.com

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