Margaret Helme Legacy

We are sadly missing one of our longest-standing members since Margaret Helme passed away in June 2018, a well liked member and a firm CGT supporter. Charles Malyon recalls that Margaret ‘was a very generous, loyal, warm-hearted and supportive member of our Trust. A regular at so many visits, when good friendships have been made over these past 20 years, her absence always produced the question, “Where’s Margaret?” Regular attenders at our visits will miss the presence of such a cheerful, good-humoured and much-loved member.’ Margaret very generously left a legacy to the CGT and after a period of consultation and discussion, the Council of Management has decided to use the legacy to found an annual memorial lecture in her name; watch out for further news.

Christmas Lecture 2019

The cover of Kate Felus’ book, depicting the Secret Life of the Georgian Garden
Recommended parking for CGT Christmas Lecture is in Madingley Park and Ride, a 5-minute walk from Storey’s Field Centre.

Tuesday 3 December 2019 from 10:30am-12:30pm (Event now closed)

The Secret Life of the Georgian Garden

The CGT Christmas Lecture for 2019 will be given by Dr Kate Felus. Dr Felus is a garden historian and historic landscape consultant. She researches designed landscapes of all periods, but specialises particularly in 18th and early 19th century parks and gardens.

The lecture is at Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington Avenue, Cambridge CB3 1AA.
Recommended parking is in the Madingley Park & Ride, which is a 5-minute walk from Storey’s Field Centre. Click here to download a flyer with full details.
Entry £12.50 members, £15 guests, to include coffee and seasonal refreshments.

To register, please send a cheque payable to Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust to: Alan Brown, Foxhollow, 239 High Street, Offord Cluny, St. Neots PE19 5RT. Tel.: 01480 811947. E-mail: Or pay by BACS to Cambs. Gardens Trust,
sort code 20-29-68, a/c 30347639, quoting your name as reference, and email or telephone Alan to say you have paid by BACS.

New CGT Chair

Liz Whittle on a Gardens Trust tour of Sicily

Saturday 16 November 2019

The 2019 CGT AGM was held in Fen Drayton Village Hall, where over 40 members gathered to enjoy an excellent talk by Terry Brignall on the wit and wisdom of Beverley Nichols, followed by a wonderful lunch. At the AGM Dr Twigs Way announced that she has decided to step down after a dynamic three years in the hot seat as CGT Chair. Twigs nominated Elizabeth (Liz) Whittle as her successor and Liz, pictured above, was duly confirmed in post in a unanimous vote by members.

Liz writes:
I am a garden historian, with a particular interest in the Tudor and Jacobean periods. My association with Cambridgeshire began a long time ago, when I was an undergraduate at Newnham College. I am now settled in the county, living in Wilburton. For many (nearly 30!) years I was the Inspector of Historic Parks and Gardens for Wales and latterly President (now Council member) of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust. My long involvement with Welsh historic parks and gardens also led to a book about them (The Historic Gardens of Wales). I am currently on the conservation committee of the Gardens Trust (and was formerly its chairman) and am a trustee of the National Botanic Garden of Wales and of Hobson’s Conduit Trust in Cambridge.

Members will remember the excellent Newsletter articles by Liz on the Cambridge water supplies in general and Hobson’s Conduit in particular. A vote of thanks to Twigs, for her outstanding service to CGT, was proposed from the floor by Bridget Flanagan and carried by popular acclaim.

Volunteer of the Year

Judith Christie displays her Gardens Trust Volunteer of the Year award.

7 September 2019

The Gardens Trust has recently instituted a ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award, named after Gilly Drummond, who has done so much herself for garden history and who played a key role in launching Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust. This year, the award went to two volunteers: Juliet Wilmot of Wiltshire GT and Judith Christie (above) of CGT. The results were announced at the Gardens Trust AGM on 7 September 2019. Many congratulations to Judith, who said at the CGT AGM that this award was really for the excellent team that she has enjoyed working with and that she hoped the real benefit would be in improved recognition for CGT as a whole.

Kirtling Picnic in the Pews

Twigs Way and Phil Christie at Kirtling Church for Lord Fairhaven celebration

Tuesday 18 June 2019

As it happened, the rain came for our summer event at Kirtling Tower but, with true Dunkirk spirit, we made a tactical retreat for a wonderful picnic in the pews of Kirtling All Saints’ church. With memorable speeches from CGT chair, Twigs Way, and Gardens Trust Life Vice-President, Gilly Drummond, we celebrated Lord Fairhaven’s 25 years of support for CGT, rounded off with some scrumptious cake and a choice of Prosecco or a non-alcoholic Summer Punch. Lord Fairhaven was presented with a disease-resistant Ulmus x ‘Regal’ and gave a gracious acceptance speech. More in the next Newsletter!

We are pleased to acknowledge support from Bidwells for this event.