Chelsea Pensioners Visit Their Award-Winning Garden

Posted: 14 May 2014

Shepherd Neame President Bobby Neame welcomed a group of Chelsea Pensioners to the New Flying Horse in Wye on Saturday, May 10.

Six distinguished ‘Men in Scarlet’ travelled down to mark eight years since their award-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden was recreated at the Kent pub in May 2006.

Set in 1945, A Soldier’s Dream of Blighty was designed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and was named best show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2005.

It was created by garden designer Julian Dowle, with input from the Chelsea Pensioners themselves, and includes a Dig for Victory vegetable garden, a pond, a field of poppies and a miniature traditional English pub.

In addition to being taken on a tour of the garden by Bobby Neame, the special guests enjoyed a buffet lunch, accompanied by a selection of Shepherd Neame beers.

Retired Royal Green Jackets Sergeant Joe Shortall was among the group of visitors, and said he enjoyed the afternoon.

Joe, 66, said: “I have only been a Chelsea Pensioner for a year, so I hadn’t seen the garden before, and I was very impressed. It is not only an attractive addition to the pub garden, but a great way of getting people to think about what life would have been like during the Second World War. We were made very welcome by Bobby Neame and the pub staff, and had a lovely time.”

Pub manager Steve Collins said: “We were delighted to welcome the Chelsea Pensioners to the New Flying Horse. We are very proud that their award-winning garden is living on at our pub, and hope that our customers will continue to enjoy and take inspiration from it for many generations to come.”