Chorley wins medal at Chelsea
AN amazing story of selfless bravery that began in 1943 involving an injured RAF navigator and a courageous group of French people has captured the nation’s attention with Chorley Council winning a silver gilt with its first ever exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Visitors to the world’s most prestigious horticultural show were amazed by the story behind the garden saying, ‘It’s the best thing I’ve seen at Chelsea’, ‘Of all the they exhibits this is the only one that makes you emotional’ and ‘I’ve never seen anything like it’.
The garden is putting Chorley on the map with people and media from all over the globe taking interest in the borough’s ambitious plans.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “We’ve been blown away by the reaction to our garden and it is not only a fantastic design but there’s a real tale of sacrifice and bravery behind it.
“The show is a great opportunity to put Chorley on the map and to have so many people interested in what we’re doing and our plans for the future is great for the borough.
“After Chelsea we will be bringing the garden back to Chorley and I’m sure it will be something everyone can be proud of and be another attraction for visitors to the borough.”
The authority commissioned award-winning Chorley designer John Everiss to tell the tale of his father’s amazing story when he beat the odds after being shot down over enemy lines during the Second World War.
John’s design, ‘The Evaders Garden’, is formed to illustrate the bond between helper and evader in worn-torn France. His landscape features a unique sculpture of a young flyer, hiding up against the wall of a war-ravaged church.
A specially commissioned stained-glass window features two young French people, hands out-stretched to help, and steps leading out from the church suggesting the airman’s eventual escape route.
“It’s fantastic to have people talking about Chorley and we’ve been speaking to hundreds of people telling them where we are and what we have to offer,” said Councillor Bradley.
“We are using the show to meet with business people who we hope will want to come and invest in Chorley and by raising the profile of the borough it will help us to benefit the local economy too.
“The garden will be unveiled in Astley Park in time for the new Chorley Flower Show on 1 and 2 August and will also be a permanent feature attracting visitors to the town.
“It is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices people made during the Second World War and will be a fitting tribute during the 70th anniversary year.”
The garden featured in the Artisan section and is also up for the People’s Choice award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and anyone wishing to vote for The Evaders Garden by Chorley Council can do so at https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/gardens/Peoples-Choice.
Pic caption: The Evaders Garden
For further information, contact Communications Manager Andrew Daniels on 01257 515265.