We’re proud to be part of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, with our canal-themed garden showcasing the beauty of the waterways to thousands of visitors.
We’ve teamed up with Welcome to Yorkshire to create a garden which is truly unique. From 21-25 May, visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show will have the opportunity to see our genuine lock gates in a garden created by award-winning designer Mark Gregory. Inspired by Yorkshire’s proud industrial heritage and stunning natural environment, the garden’s main feature is a canal, with authentic lock gates, which flows next to a wild perennial meadow and a lock keeper’s cottage with a cultivated garden.
The gates, which had come to the end of their lifespan in Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Britain’s highest canal – have been donated by the Trust to Welcome to Yorkshire. They have been adapted for use at the prestigious flower show at our Stanley Ferry Worksop, where they were first made 20 years ago.
Mark Gregory, Garden Designer said: “These lock gates are essential for the authenticity of this year’s Welcome to Yorkshire Garden and will really bring the canal to life. It’s the very first time two pairs of genuine gates have featured in a garden at Chelsea and I’m incredibly grateful to Canal & River Trust for their support.“
People from across the Trust, including volunteer lock keepers, heritage experts, and apprentice carpenters, will be supporting the garden by sharing their knowledge, lending artefacts, and getting hands-on to help build some of the features.
Sean McGinley, Canal & River Trust Yorkshire & North East director said: “We’re delighted to partner with Welcome to Yorkshire and offer our expertise and passion to help showcase the county’s spectacular waterways to the world through this beautiful canal-themed garden.
Spending time on or by your local canal can make you feel happier and healthier, so we hope this garden will encourage more people to get out by Yorkshire’s beautiful waterways to reap the benefits.”
Watch a timelapse video of the garden being created.
It’s the very first time two pairs of genuine gates have featured in a garden at Chelsea.Mark Gregory, garden designer
Workshop supervisor, Steven Brunt, has worked at the Stanley Ferry site for 40 years. This is where the lock gets would have been crafted two decades ago. Steve’s son, Steven James, is also employed at the workshop.
Steven said: “Each lock has a unique heritage, meaning every lock is unique, bespoke and hand-finished. Vanessa and Adam have been specialising in carpentry and joinery, to learn the traditional techniques required to work on lock gates. We’re delighted to be able to share our skills and expertise to help showcase the county’s spectacular waterways to the world through this beautiful canal-themed garden.”
Before my apprenticeship I studied art and didn’t even know how to work a drill and now I’m working on two-tonne lock gates for a garden at one of the world’s most prestigious flower shows!Vanessa Coakley, craft operative
Two of the our recently qualified apprentices, Vanessa Coakley and Adam Cluny, have been working alongside garden designer Mark Gregory to ensure the authenticity of all elements on the Welcome to Yorkshire garden.
Following a HLF-funded traineeship and two-year NVQ Level 3 apprenticeship in heritage, conservation and restoration, Vanessa and Adam are now in full-time employment as craft operatives for the Trust.
Vanessa Coakley, craft operative and former apprentice at the Canal & River Trust said: “Before my apprenticeship I studied art and didn’t even know how to work a drill and now I’m working on two-tonne lock gates for a garden at one of the world’s most prestigious flower shows! Thanks to Mark Gregory, Welcome to Yorkshire and Canal & River Trust for this fantastic opportunity, I’m really excited to be part of this project that celebrates our living waterways.”
Adam Cluny, craft operative and former apprentice at the Canal & River Trust added: “I used to live near Huddersfield Narrow Canal and would regularly cycle or walk along it with my family. It’s a stunning stretch, with superb scenery, historic mills and industrial buildings. From my own experience of working and living by the canal, I know how spending time by water can really help you feel happier and healthier. I hope Welcome to Yorkshire’s garden will encourage more people to get out and enjoy their local waterway and visit this wonderful part of Britain.”