Planting 'Richard Porson' at East Ruston Area Infant School, Norfolk
The heavens held off on Tuesday 27th November, whilst I joined my colleague Production Manager Ian Limmer at East Ruston Area Infant School for the planting of rosa 'Richard Porson'.
And why East Ruston, you might think? Well this is the birthplace of Richard Porson (of whom the rose is named after) who was born on December 25th 1759. A classical Greek scholar who studied at Eton, then Trinity College, Cambridge, eventually becoming 'Regius Professor of Greek' at Cambridge. He is famous for 'Porson's Law' and the typeface 'Porson' amongst his many notary published works.
The school that houses around 30 children aged from 4 to 7 in a small old fashioned building, but inside it has up-to-date technology and Penny Steward as headteacher.
The children, teachers and honoured guests notably Keith Skipper and Alan Gray who came up with the idea of commemorating the Norfolk lad who 'done well' three years ago on the radio and David Morgan who saw the project through from start to the rainy end, converged on the school playground. Here the children showed us their Greek writing of their name or of the Greek alphabet and four brave children stood up and told us all a little bit about Richard Porson.
Then came the planting of the three rose bushes. Two helpers for each bare root rose were asked to assist Ian. Ian rose to the occasion, asking the children how tall and what colour they thought the rose bushes were going to be...
The first couple helped dig the hole and Ian sprinkled on the rose feed, which Ian called 'Fish 'n' Chips'. "As just like you and me, plants need food and water as well, but this is slow releasing food, so they wouldn't need more feed until about August." he said. The first couple then put the bare root into the hole and shovelled the earth back in and patted it down, followed by another sprinkling of 'Fish 'n' Chips'. By the time the third rose bush was planted, whenever Ian asked what was about to happen, the whole school including the teachers and honoured guests all chorused: 'Fish 'n' Chips'!
The children were curious as to what 'Fish 'n' Chips' looked like, so Ian broke it apart and showed them.
When all three bushes were planted, David had the honour of giving a plaque to the school to commemorate the day, which had been made by a lady in the village.
To end with the children had learnt a song about the sun and they sung this with gusto accompanied with hand movements and lots of clapping.
An extremely enjoyable morning and I'll never look at a plate of fish and chips in the same light!
'Richard Porson' has also been planted at The Old Vicarage Garden, East Ruston and that it will hopefully also be planted at Trinity College Cambridge.