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Crowds enjoy celebrations for Halesworth hero Joseph Hooker

PUBLISHED: 13:12 06 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 July 2017

Hundreds attended the unveiling of a new montage at Hooker House. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

Hundreds attended the unveiling of a new montage at Hooker House. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

Tamsyn Imison.

A series of events to celebrate 200 years since the birth of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker took place at the weekend.

Events celebrated the bicentenary of Hooker's birth. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.Events celebrated the bicentenary of Hooker's birth. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

The famous 19th century botanist and explorer was born in Halesworth on June 30, 1817, and the town played host to exhibitions, presentations, walks and talks to honour his work and influence.

Hooker is regarded by many as one of the most important British men of science, and was the director of Kew Gardens as well as a keen supporter and friend of Charles Darwin.

Proceedings got under way on Friday night with a an exhibit showcasing botanical art inspired by Hooker at Halesworth Gallery.

On Saturday there were two guided walks around the Hooker Trail, which has been going for the last three years. The walk began on Quay Street at Hooker House which, on Sunday, played host to the unveiling of a newly-designed coloured montage on its window recess.

Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

Following that came one of the weekend’s highlights, an exhibition and presentation at The Cut arts centre on Sunday afternoon. Visitors were able to view exhibitions, books and special commemorative items, whilst Hooker-inspired artwork by Edgar Sewter pupils was also on show. The afternoon’s talks included a Kew presentation with Victoria Mills talking about what Hooker’s letters reveal about the man and his discoveries, whilst Professor John Parker, director of Cambridge Botanical Gardens, gave audience members fascinating insights about what Hooker was really like as a person.

The weekend of events was organised by Halesworth in Bloom, and leader of the group Tamsyn Imison expressed her delight at how successful things went.

“The pictures exhibited on Friday evening were absolutely stunning and on Saturday we had superb weather for our two guided walks,” said Mrs Imison.

“Over 200 people came to the talks on Sunday afternoon to hear our superb speakers, who told some very interesting stories about Hooker.

Over 200 people attended talks by Victoria Mills and John Parker. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.Over 200 people attended talks by Victoria Mills and John Parker. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

“Everything we wanted to do went well.”

Guided walks along the Hooker Trail will again be available to the public during the bi-annual heritage open days in September, when a number of heritage buildings will also be open.

Joseph Hooker was a famous 19th century botanist. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.Joseph Hooker was a famous 19th century botanist. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.Joseph Hooker event. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

The Joseph Hooker trail. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.The Joseph Hooker trail. Photo by: Tamsyn Imison.

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