Video: Tank gets into position for Sandringham Flower show
Chris BishopThey'd done their best to measure it out, with their pegs and their string. But as eight tonnes of armoured vehicle teetered on the edge of the hole which had appeared hours earlier in the neatly-manicured Royal Estate, it was looking a bit tight.Chris Bishop
They'd done their best to measure it out, with their pegs and their string. But as eight tonnes of armoured vehicle teetered on the edge of the hole which had appeared hours earlier in the neatly-manicured Sandringham Royal Estate, it was looking a bit tight.
'I just hope that hole's going to be big enough,' said Flower Show treasurer Paul Murrell, as Trooper Kris Jones eased his charge into her new berth with inches to spare.
Hilda - as the Sultan tracked command vehicle is known to her friends at RAF Honington - will be one of the stars of next week's show, when she forms the centrepiece of a garden in honour of Britain's armed forces and the Help For Heroes charity.
Between now and then, the garden will be constructed around her by South Norfolk-based Mulberry Tree Garden design. On show day, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will view the finished display before it is opened up to the public.
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'As our own project, our own design, from start to finish, it's the most ambitious we've done so far,' said Mulberry Tree's Chris Cox. 'It means more because of where it is, who it's for and there's personal feelings behind it from our point of view as well.'
Mr Cox and his two brothers and co-designers Jody and Tim served in the RAF. All three found successful careers in horticulture, after leaving the air force.
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'One of our aims is to show that life can continue after the forces - you can do other things,' he said.
'A lot of guys do wonder what they're going to do when they
A guard of honour comprising personnel from each of the services will be present on the garden and collecting tins and H4H merchandise - including wristbands as worn by supporters including Prince Harry will be available nearby.
Hilda will be turfed over and camouflaged as work gets under way on the garden, which his being built in association with EDP Norfolk magazine.
Mr Murrell, who has spent the weekend marking out the position of the marquees with pieces of string and a measuring wheel, looked visibly relieved as Tpr Jones eased Hilda into place at his first attempt.
'I reckon it's going to be fun trying to get it out again though,' he said.
t Sandringham Flower Show is being held on the Royal Estate on Wednesday, July 29. More than 20,000 visitors are expected to attend, including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
From a humble village fete with royal connections, the show has grown to become a celebration of just about every aspect of outdoor living. Top designers battle it out in the two show gardens competitions, more than 200 exhibitors covering all aspects of gardening and outdoor living will have displays, and there will be music, refreshments and main ring events.
During the afternoon, there will be a fly past of Tornado aircraft from RAF Marham, in honour of H4H which has raised millions to help wounded or injured members of the armed forces www.helpforheroes.org.uk.
Tickets are �7 adult/�2 child and admission to the grounds, church and museum is included. Parking is free.