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EARLHAM PARK NURSERY

1977 - 1990

 

MORE MEMORIES

AT EARLHAM PARK and NURSERY

 

A PASSION FOR PLANTS

 

NORFOLK COLLEGE OF HORTICULTURE 1974

 

THE ROYAL GARDENS WINDSOR 1975

 

NORWICH CITY COUNCIL

1976 - Present

 

NORWICH IN BLOOM

 

ANGLIA IN BLOOM

 

RHS BRITAIN IN BLOOM

 

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PHOTOGRAPHY

 

PRESENTATION AND TALKS

 

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I arrived at Earlham Park and Nursery June 1977, the first person I met was Nursery Manager Jack Baker a vocal but very fair man who I grew to respect and became a good friend with during the time I worked at Earlham Park, after Jack retired during my time as Nursery Manager and when I moved from the Nurseries in April 1990 to Grounds Maintenance Contracts at Elliot House, Ber Street until Jack passed away.

 

My very first task in June and July was to plant out Myosotis, Pansy, Polyanthus and Wallflower seedlings in the top nursery field and keep them watered, weed and disease free until they were ready for planting out across Norwich in October, around 100,000 Autumn Bedding Plants were grown on the nursery fields.

 

Jack managed around 20 people at the park and nursery, a mixture of ages, experience and skills, there were 3 foreman, nursery and park, floral decorations and shrub nursery some miles away at Whitlingham next to the sewage works, my first ambition was to manage some of the greenhouses and particularly hot houses, orchids and propagation but first I was to be tested by Jack to see if I was capable and deserving.

 

Polyanthus and Pansy Production Looking Towards UEA

Top Nursery Field Earlham Park Nursery 1980

Norwich in Bloom Website

 

 

 

 

 

The Old Greenhouse Complex and Cold Frames prior to demolition in 1980

 

 

John Attoe picking over Primula obconica January 1977

 

Geranium Caroline Schmidt (A Parks Favourite)

and Salvia in Cool Greenhouse 1980

In 1977 I also met John Attoe (now ay City College Norwich) and Michael Denmark (now at Floranova), in 1979 Ian Harris (now owner of Hockering Nursery) joined us, we all became good friends, each having a passion for horticulture and a specialist role at Earlham and Whitlingham Nurseries over the years we worked together.

 

John took over from Alan Bane (perhaps a distant relation to Terry) growing Antirrhinum, Begonia tuberous, Carnation's, Celosia, Cyclamen, Freesia, Hydrangea, Lisianthus, Primula, Ranunculus and Schizanthus in the cooler greenhouses.

 

Michael took over from Les Clemence and Kenny Hemnall growing Palms, Ferns and Orchids in the temperate house and Amaryllis, Cineraria, Calceolaria and Chrysanthemums in the cooler houses and outside.

 

Ian like myself spent time during the autumn/winter at Whitlingham Tree and Shrub Nursery under Dougie Steward and spring and summer sterilising soil, leaf mould and making compost and pricking out around 120,000 summer bedding plants with all the nursery staff, Ian, myself with Barry Howes and Bryan Webb also maintained the park and gardens.

 

Alan Bane, Kenny Hempnall, Jack Gotts (who I never met) and Jack Baker were all of a similar age, Jack was the youngest and was promoted directly from Nurseryman to Manager as Alan Bane declined, Jack told me that other greenhouses at Chapelfield Gardens and Constitution Road had been moved to Earlham Park in the 1950's with existing original Victorian/Edwardian style greenhouses to make up the complex, Jack had worked at Chapelfield Gardens shortly after returning from WW2 in around 1946/7, Jack specialised and was nicknamed "King of The Geraniums"

 

Michael Hill was Park Foreman when I arrived in 1977 and  Vic Cordy Floral Decorations Foreman.

 

Tuberous Begonia's in Cool Greenhouse 1980

 

Codiaeum and Achemenes in Stove Greenhouse 1980

 

Stove House plants in Temporary Polythene Structures 1980

 

Hydrangea and Carnations in Temporary Structures 1980

 

The New Greenhouse Complex and Standing Ground Winter 1982

 

Exotic Plants in Terry's Hot House 1982

 

 

 

Terry Bane - John Attoe and Richard England July 1984

 

Terry Bane and John Attoe with Open Day Visitor 1985

After 18 months having been trialled and tested carrying out a wide range of menial and hard laboured tasks including daily sweeping and removal of car park debris, white washing buildings, repairing and making new wooden trays from old pieces of tray wood, collecting, cutting and sizing old bamboo canes and marking out football pitches I finally passed Jacks tests and was rewarded with two Stove (hot) greenhouses and a orchid greenhouse to manage, I was also put on the weekend watering rota earning some extra overtime cash.

 

1980 it was decided the old greenhouses were becoming too costly to repair, it would be better value to have a new efficient modern range of greenhouses, prior to demolition nursery staff constructed temporary polythene structures to house and grow plants ready to go back in the new greenhouses, it was such a exciting time for me being in charge of a Hot Greenhouse full of exotic plants and Seed/Propagation Unit.

 

1983 I had a difficult decision to make, Michael Hill had been promoted to Area Supervisor leaving Earlham Park Supervisor vacant, Jack encouraged me to apply but it meant I had to give up my beloved Hot House and Propagation Unit, work in the park and gardens and run the nursery when Jack was on leave.

I thought long and hard about and thought best to apply - I was successful and moved into Jacks office.

 

Achieving promotion and knowing Jack was close to retirement I requested supervisor and management training, passing NEBS in 1984 and CMS in 1985, I also studied and passed a Business Studies O level.

 

NEBS Supervisors Certificate 1984

 

Certificate of Management Certificate 1985

 

BASIS Store Keeper Certificate 1989

 

 

 

Michael Denmark spraying in the Palm and Fernery 1987

 

 

 

 

Mirelle Yellop with Hanging Baskets May 1989

Early 1987 Jack started to run down to retirement, by August I was appointed temporary Nursery Manager 6 months later I was fully appointed, it was a time of changes in many ways, weekly paid gardeners across the city transferring to City Works apart from Earlham Nursery, pesticide legislation had arrived and all staff including myself trained and passed the National Proficiency Test Council Certificate of Competency and then individual modules for applying pesticides.

A certificated pesticide store keeper was also required, I took my first B.A.S.I.S. exam in 1989 as I managed purchasing, stock keeping and records of all pesticides used in and around the nursery, a new chemical store was purchased.

 

Mirelle Yellop joined the nursery in 1987, in 1989 Terry and Mirelle were married in the Earlham Room registry office at City Hall.

 

My friends Michael Denmark and John Attoe left the nursery in the late 1980's on to other horticultural careers.

 

June 1990 I took the opportunity to transfer into a new city council Grounds Maintenance Contract Unit at Elliot House.

 

Sadly the city council nursery closed in 1993, nursery staff were transferred to City Works, left or retired.

The nursery was leased to Floranova then SHE's (Sheltered Horticultural Employment Scheme), planning permission was granted for demolition of the nursery, a new award winning Eco Enterprise Centre was built on the old nursery fields.

 

 

 

Updated 12th December 2017 Copyright Terry and Mirelle Bane 2017 - Web Site Designer Terry Bane terrycbane@gmail.com