Historical Events

Date: 1850s
Source: History of the Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society (1929)
Henry Trevor joined the N & N HS in the 1850s even before he started to create the Plantation garden. The society was founded in 1829, and early objectives seem as much charitable as horticultural. Members wanted ‘to raise the moral character of the poorer classes of the community’ and by presenting small prizes (medals, or a spoon or 16 shillings) to encourage them ‘to make the most of their small plots’ and reap ‘The Reward of Industry’ – the vegetables and flowers shown in the vignette. In 1889 and 1892 the Heigham HS held shows in the ‘charming and picturesque grounds’ of the Plantation.
Date: 1850s
Source: History of the Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society (1929)
The illustration of chrysanthemums is taken from J.C. Loudon’s Encylopedia of Gardening (1850), a very popular book which Henry Trevor must have known. Henry Trevor exhibited and won prizes in the Chrysanthemum shows held by the N & N HS.
Date: 14th July 1892
Source: original poster in Norfolk Record office, copy in PGPT archive
This poster advertises ‘An International bazaar and Garden Party’ to be held in The Plantation ‘through the kindness of Henry Trevor Esq.’ in aid of the Y.M.C.A. Stalls represented goods from various countries (ivory from Bombay, Japanese wares, Spanish fans etc) with stallholders dressed in ‘Native Costumes’. The Carrow band and fireworks were added attractions.

Points of interest: cheap trains from all over Norfolk, entrance cost 1s, fashionable oriental decoration (advertising by the oriental merchants Bonsor at the bottom of the sheet?), tickets sold by Jarrolds etc.

An EDP report next day said 4000 attended in spite of bad weather.

PGPT348 (left) and PGPT 349 (above)

Date: 1911
Source: photographs c2003 by Sarah Cocke

In the first decade of the 20c there were 2 royal visits to Norwich: King Edward VII came in 1909, King George V in 1911. In the newspaper reports of each of these visits mention is made of the furniture, shown here, especially made ‘by Messrs. Trevor & Page’ to be used by the royals. These photographs show the ‘throne’ made for George V, with the record on the back that ‘the oak was taken from the Norwich Guildhall during repairs 1907-8’.
Date: 1914-1919
Source: Page family album
During WW1 Trevor Page & Co produced propellers for aircraft made in Norwich. This photograph shows the workers of Trevor Page & Co, men, women and boys, posing with 2 propellers in the workshop. J.J.G. Page (see PGPT168) is sitting in the middle wearing a bowler hat.

61 men from the firm went to fight in the war, 10 of whom died. Every veteran who wished to return to the firm was re-employed, and the firm held the record in East Anglia for the number of discharged men they were training. (EDP 19.12.1919

Date: 1920s
Source: photo in PG archive
Group of Baptist ladies who were organising a fête in PG. This was during the period when George Green () lived in the Plantation. He was a strong supporter of St. Mary’s Baptist Church.

This photo was produced (at a talk given in June 2008) by the child of one of the people shown. She said that the lady in white and black hat in centre of 2nd row was the minister’s wife and the young man in the front row in pale trousers almost in front of her became a minister later.

Date: 1920s
Source: Photograph in PGPT archive
As mentioned in PGPT059 George Green used the garden for various events. On this occasion he seems to be entertaining the staff of his shops in Norwich and Yarmouth. Everyone is wearing a hat except Mr and Mrs Green!

The wall in the background is the ‘medieval’ wall (Guide book 2009 p33).

PGPT063 and 230
Date: 1919/20
Source: Detail from photograph in Green family album
In the family album. George Colman Green, son of George Green, has written ‘The North Elmham Naval Boys at the Plantation, 1919-20’ On the same page is a photograph of the boys in their sailor hats with the Lady Mayoress (Mrs Green). She can be seen sitting in the background here.
Another photgraph (not shown) has George Green standing on the upper lawn with a group of more than 20 school boys from Bethnal Green, London, who were visiting the Plantation. 

The balustrading and walls of the Italian terrace (Guide book 2009 p37) rise up behind the seated figures. The Gothic alcove (Guide book 2009 p34), covered with ivy, can be seen at the left, and there seem to be the remains of a large curved window (?) abutting the terrace wall in the centre.

Date: 1919/20
Source: Photograph in PGPT archive copied from Green family album
When George Green became Lord Mayor in 1919 he wanted to live in an establishment suitable for that office. He settled upon the Plantation, and lived there until his death in 1929. This photograph shows him and Mrs Green setting out in the Mayoral carriage. George Green was a man who had played a considerable part in public affairs – Alderman, member of Board of Guardians, Port Commissioner at Yarmouth, Magistrate, Chair of Sewerage committee. He merits a long entry already in ‘Citizens of No Mean City’ (1909).

Other photographs exist of him and Mrs Green in various parts of the garden (PGPT059,062) and using it to entertain various groups of his staff, ministers, boys’clubs (PGPT060,061,063)

Date: 1930s
Source: photograph donated by George Plunkett to dissertation listed in PGPT341
George Plunkett, with great foresight, took many photographs of Norwich in the 1930s, of buildings which were destined to be destroyed in World War II. This was one. Although it looks like a standard church tower, it was actually a belvedere or garden folly in the same tradition as those smaller ones in PGPT361.

It stood in the grounds of Heigham Grove House (see PGPT363), next door to The Grove, Joseph Gray’s house (see PGPT158,364/5). It was made of brick, as can just be made out in the photograph. A war time neighbour remembered that when a bomb demolished the house and tower on 27th June, 1942, his own nearby house was covered in red dust.

Date: c1990
Source: photograph by volunteer, probably Allan Sewell
The first restoration of the fountain has brought it back to life. It is now ready for the invasion of frogs which congregate every March creating a frog carpet around the surrounding paths and making sure of the next generation.
Date: 1980s(?)
Source: photograph by volunteer
This appears to show preparations for an event such as the one shown on the back cover of Ex Fonte no.5 1984 or no.9 1988 when a party was held with members dressed in Victorian costume.
PGPT206 and 207
Date: 1980s
Source: photograph by courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press
From early days the committee aimed at providing enjoyment and social occasions for volunteers and their families. John Watson (see PGPT192) loved to dress up in his top hat and frock coat, so fancy dress was often the order of the day! Bryony Nierop-Reading, Secretary for many years, can just be seen in the back row behind the bowler hat. Marj Wilson, later to become Head Gardener, can be seen 4th on the right, front row, and her 3 sons sit at the front.

The EDP had been persuaded to give publicity to the event.

Date: 1980s
Source: photograph by volunteer
An unknown event was taking place to display what improvements have been made: the balustrading of the Italian terrace has been repaired and a lot of the ivy which had covered the whole structure in 1980 has been removed, revealing the fancy brickwork underneath. Urns have been placed on pedestals and planted. The lawn has been cleared and reseeded and even mowed to give stripes!

However, much work remains to be done – the west bank is tumbledown, like the rockworks on the bottom left, the lower path is rough and the middle path on the left has hardly been cleared. And why the cavities on the lawn?

Date: March 3 1988
Source: photograph by volunteer Bruce Adam
This photograph was taken soon after a bus travelling along the Earlham Rd towards the city suddenly slipped into a hole! It happened just opposite the entrance to the Plantation garden – and by coincidence the house in the background is the house which Henry Trevor rented before he built the Plantation house! The hole, of course, was created when the roof of a tunnel below the road (see PGPT346) fell in.

Fortunately no-one was hurt, but afterwards much work was done to fill in the tunnels. Full reports appeared in the local daily and evening papers of March 4 and 5.

Date: 1990
Source: photograph by volunteer
This photograph appeared on the back cover of Ex Fonte no.12 1991, and was taken during an open Day in September 1990. At that time the garden was not open to the public on a daily basis; visits had to be on a Sunday, on an Open Day (spring and late summer) when teas were provided, as here, or by booking a tour at a pre-arranged time.

The fountain can be seen working. On p3 it says that visitors were ‘able to work the fountain by a coin in the slot mechanism’. That does not seem to have become a regular feature!

PGPT187 and 208
Date: 1990
Source: photograph by volunteer
Like PGPT183, this photograph appeared on the back cover of Ex Fonte no.12 1991 and probably shows one of the jollities of an Open Day.
Date: 1998
Source: photograph in Trust archive
Prince Charles came to Norwich on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Norwich Society and visited their exhibition mounted in the Assembly house. The Norwich Society had, as part of their celebrations, contributed very generously to the construction of a replica of the rustic bridge in the Plantation garden. The first guide book to the garden was published in 1998 and Sheila Kefford (facing camera), secretary-organiser of the Norwich Society, has here just presented a copy to the Prince
PGPT175 and 176
Date: 1998
Source: photograph in Trust archive
In PGPT176, lower picture, The PGPT Secretary, Gretchen Mason, and Chairman 1995-2000, Elizabeth Bickerton, have been presented to Prince Charles.
Date: 2001 or 2002
In 2001 a thoroughly Victorian theme was given to the summer fete – it was, after all, the centenary of Queen Victoria’s death. Actors impersonated the Queen and her heir. In 2002 we celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. On both occasions the garden – and of course the tea tent shown here – was decorated with flags.

The ladies who made cakes and served teas deserve a special mention in the history of the PGPT, for they gave many hours of time and trouble to the numerous tasks involved in providing teas on the lawn on summer Sundays to an appreciative public. The result of their work was a considerable contribution annually to the funds available to the garden. Gretchen Mason, also Hon Sec at the time, was the first ‘Tsarina of the teas’ in 1999, Nancy Stewart (picture centre, in mob cap) was ‘Queen of the cakes’ and others since have carried on their very good work, giving up their summer Sundays to this cause.

Date: 2004
Source: Photgraph by volunteer
Britain in Bloom’ is a competition organised between various parts of Britain. This photograph was taken when the judges visited The Plantation in 2004 as part of the Norwich entry for the competition.

The very attractive planting in the beds originally within the Palm House can be seen here. Marjorie Wilson, Head Gardener, who designed and organised the planting of these beds, is on the right, talking to Sheila Adam (archivist) and Bruce Adam (chairman).

The small glasshouse was erected in 2000 with a grant from the lottery fund for the practical purpose of housing chairs and tables for Sunday teas. The design was copied from old photographs of the glazed entrance to the boiler house as seen in PGPT002

Date: 2004
Source: photograph by volunteer
This was one of the several successful fetes held in the 1990s and early 2000s to raise funds. among the attractions was Punch and Judy, barrel organs etc.

Of interest: the restored pillar on the left, part of the collapsed retaining wall. it was rebuilt using materials found in the garden. The tree fern beyond it, gifted by a visitor. The recreated summerhouse at the top of the steps. The retaining wall on the West has not yet been restored.

Date: 2006?
Source: photograph by volunteer
Tea in the garden on a summer Sunday became a very popular reason for a visit in the early 2000s. Many visitors told us that they liked to bring their visitors, and elderly relatives were often mentioned! Children too could be left safely to take exercise on steps and paths on the slopes.

A lot of work by volunteers was needed to keep this going, with rotas of servers setting out tables and chairs, preparing urns, washing up, laundering linen, requesting cakes from volunteer bakers and tidying up at the end of the afternoon. Sometimes very little money has been taken, sometimes there has been a great contribution to the garden funds.

Date 21st July 2005
Source Photograph by Pat Turner
The Plantation Garden Preservation Trust (PGPT) was formed in1980 with the purpose of restoring the garden, then in a ruinous state, to its appearance in 1897. The planting scheme shown here was part of the celebration, as was an exhibition at the Assembly House, a fete, a special edition of Ex Fonte etc.
PGPT287 and 119
Date: October 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer
The purpose of the net placed over the fountain each autumn is twofold: to stop leaves falling into the water to the detriment of the fish, and to prevent a repetition of the occasion when a heron ate all the fish! In 2006 an old torn net was replaced with this smart new one, made by Cynthia and John Gibling.
Date: 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer
In the 1990s and early 21c a summer fete was held in July every year to raise funds for the PGPT. Bunting and flags were used around the garden as decoration. Hanging the flags on the fountain was one of the more hazardous tasks!
PGPT131 and PGPT129
Date: October 2007
Source: Photographs by volunteer
These views were taken to show the damage done by foxes digging up the lawn in search of worms and other prey. Urban foxes are a regular nuisance in the centre of Norwich and can often be seen crossing gardens even in broad daylight. For some years they have made lairs (see PGPT130) and produced cubs in the Plantation, so that the Trust has been forced to place unsightly fences around the flower beds to preserve the plants. It would be very difficult to get rid of them without upsetting many people who (quite rightly) consider that foxes, especially the cubs, are a charming sight.

In the background is another view of the collapse of the south west bank before the retaining wall was restored (see PGPT110, 092/3).

Date: October 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer
This photograph shows the path along the lower level of the eastern slope (see PGPT109). Like PGPT129, it shows damage done by foxes – the sandy soil on the path has been scattered by foxes digging their lair in the slope above.

Of interest also is this view of the side and top of the restored ‘Gothic alcove’ (see PGPT091,103).

Date: 2008
Source: photograph by volunteer
A view looking North of a jazz concert, one of the popular musical events which finds a ideal venue in the garden (if the weather is kind!)

 228 total views,  2 views today